Night on Bald Mountain, also called Night on Bare Mountain, is an orchestral work by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky that was completed in June 1867. The work had not been performed in public at the time of the composer’s death in 1881; it was revised by his colleagues and still later by other generations of composers and conductors. Not until it was used in the penultimate scene of the Walt Disney movie Fantasia (1940) did it gain a wider audience. For a Western public, it remains largely associated with that movie and with the celebration of Halloween. Mussorgsky’s contemporaries and friends are the composers Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Of those three, Mussorgsky alone resisted the establishment and struck out on his own. But he was troubled and began to show signs of alcoholism, to the degree that drinking eventually caused his death just days after his 42nd birthday. At the time of his death, many of his works, including Night on Bald Mountain, were both unpublished and unrevised.
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