(Leader, GEORGE STRATTON )
Conducted by JULIUS HARRISON
When Salammbo, Gustave Flaubert 's story of Carthage, came into the hands of Mussorgsky he at once saw the Possibilities of making an opera out of it. He did not, however, get far with the music, and presently abandoned all thought of finishing it. What he had already written was, however, used up in various ways ; for instance, this Part of the music was transformed into a tone picture with a definite programme. The mountain referred to is said to be Monte Carmo , in the Italian Alps, and that it is peculiar for its extreme bareness and lack of any sort of shrub-apparently a most appropriate Place for a Witches' Sabbath. The programme attached to the music concerns such an occasion. Unearthly voices are heard coming from beneath the ground, spirits of darkness appear, followed by Chernobog, the evil god. They hold satanic revels, but when, at dawn, the village bell is heard in the distance, the dark spirits all disappear, and the music ends in tranquility and deep peace.
The drama of the Norwegian poet Bjornson, Sigurd Jorsalfar (Sigurd the Crusader), is a tale of Norway in the time of the Crusades. Sigurd and his brother Eystein, sons of the great Harald, are fierce rivals, each reigning over part of Norway. At the end of the play they become reconciled, and dedicate themselves jointly to the service of their country. Grieg wrote ihcidental music for the production of the play, afterwards recasting several of the movements in the form of a very effective suite, second in popularity only to the two suites from his music to Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
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