Night on Bald Mountain (Russian: Ночь на лысой горе, Noch′ na lysoy gore), also known as Night on the Bare Mountain, is a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a "musical picture", St. John's Eve on Bald Mountain (Russian: Иванова ночь на лысой горе, Ivanova noch′ na lysoy gore) on the theme of a witches' sabbath occurring on St. John's Eve, which he completed on that very night, 23 June 1867. Together with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko (1867), it is one of the first tone poems by a Russian composer.

Although Mussorgsky was proud of his youthful effort, his mentor, Miliy Balakirev, refused to perform it. To salvage what he considered worthy material, Mussorgsky attempted to insert his Bald Mountain music, recast for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, into two subsequent projects—the collaborative opera-ballet Mlada (1872), and the opera The Fair at Sorochyntsi (1880). However, Night on Bald Mountain was never performed in any form during Mussorgsky's lifetime.

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Performances & Interviews



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