Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain

The image of brooding, winged ghouls wreaking havoc on a mountain village under cover of night has terrified generations of young children in Walt Disney’s  Fantasia. Inspired by Russian legend, Mussorgsky’s tone poem depicts the dark ritual of a witches’ sabbath. Sadly, it was never performed in his lifetime, but the arrangement by his friend Rimsky-Korsakov has become a concert blockbuster.

Marschner: Der Vampyr

The vampires in tabloids and teen novels today have nothing on the 19th-century European variety. The creatures of the night enjoyed a brief vampire craze in theatre and opera of the early 1800s, well before Bram Stoker’s Dracula emerged on the scene. Heinrich August Marschner’s grand opera  Der Vampyr (1828) is based on a fragment of a novel by Byron, which was completed by the poet’s doctor. Lord Ruthven Earl of Marsden, a newly created vampire,has asked the Vampire Master for another year on earth before being dragged into hell...

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