This supernatural fantasy for orchestra was composed by the Russian composer Mussorgsky in 1867 and re-orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov in 1886.
Notes from Mussorgsky’s own score make clear its programmatic nature. It starts with subterranean sounds from supernatural voices. Then, there is the appearance of the spirits of darkness, and after them, of Chernobog (the black god). The piece builds to the glorification of the Black God and Black Mass; a witches’ sabbath follows. At its height, the sabbath is interrupted by the distant sounds of a bell in a little village church, which disperses the spirits of darkness as daybreak ensues.
Night on Bald Mountain
By Modest Mussorgsky
Arranged by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff
Composed in 1886