Modest Mussorgsky was a Russian composer (1838-1881) who is best known for his opera, Boris Gudonov; the piano suite, Pictures at an Exhibition; and the tone poem, Night on Bald Mountain.


Walt Disney, in his monumental 1940 animated film, Fantasia, created an unforgettable segment depicting Satan and the evil spirits using the spectacular music from Night on Bald Mountain. A very cool piece! Click Here to see a video of the original Disney production from Frantasia.

The musical score has 4 parts:

1. Assembly of the witches (their talk and gossip).
2. Satan's journey.
3. Obscene praises of Satan.
4. Sabbath.


The ever-popular Pictures at an Exhibition depicts an imaginary tour of an art collection, and the impressions from individual paintings. The best known version of this work was orchestrated by the noted French composer, Maurice Ravel.


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was an influential Russian composer and educator. He was important in the development of numerous composers, notably Stravinsky and Prokofiev.


The exotic symphonic suite, Scheherazade, is based on the fabulous book, The Arabian Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian tales compiled during the 9th-13th centuries. The storyteller is Scheherazade, a beautiful and brilliantly intelligent girl who was one of many virgin girls condemned to die by order of the King who was enraged at all women because of the infidelity of his queen.

Scheherazade was able to save her own life and end the King's wrath by diverting his attention from his rage by telling him one intriguing story after another each night for a thousand and one nights. The King finally sees the folly of his vengeance, falls in love with Scheherazade, marries her, and they live happily ever after.

Well known Arabian Nights tales include Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves, Alladin's Lamp, and The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor.

Scheherazade consists of 4 parts:

1. The Sea and Sindbad's Ship.
2. The Kalendar Prince.
3. The Young Prince and the Young Princess.
4. Festival at Baghdad. The Sea - the Shipwreck.


Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the Capriccio Espagnol in 1887. The work is based on Spanish melodies and is known for its vibrant style and beautiful orchestration.