I love listening to classical music. It can bring you to the most wonderful places in your imagination. Disney’s masterful feature animation ‘Fantasia‘ visits a good few of these places, and how gloriously imaginative is the music of the great composers like Modest Mussorgsky, whose ‘Night On Bald Mountain‘ provides a ‘musical picture’ on the theme of a St. John’s Night Witches Sabbath. Disney caught the menace in the music perfectly in the imagery and movement of the animated spectres and spooks of darkness.
Loving it as much as I am? I hope so, because this movie certainly made classical music accessible to its audience in 1940, as I hope it will for you too, if you aren’t already a classical music fan. If you fancy listening to some more, with a change in tempo, here’s some more of the magic of Disney. Ludvig van Beethoven does depressed and moody awfully well, but the Pastoral Symphony (Opus no. 68 ) is one of his sweeter, happier works.
Disney’s images to accompany the music are charming and sweet too. The following video features two versions of the same footage alongside each other for comparison. If you are the sort of person who likes fiddling about with reading the sleeve of the album cover too while listening, I can’t help you out, but I can provide a link to an analysis of some of the metaphors and mythological references that abound in the movie.
Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Let’s make it a night, settle down and relax in style like a satyr, pull up a log and grab a pipe to blow bubbles in order to not-think better, kick the shoes off to let the hooves breathe, and enjoy taking a nice trip with these cute little mushrooms, who like dancing around to the Nutcracker Suite by llyich Tchaikovsky.