In Slavic folklore, “Baba Yaga” is a witch-like old crone, known for lurking in forests, where she may help or harm those who come seeking her aid. The legend was the subject of a painting, which inspired one movement of Mussorgsky’s suite Pictures at an Exhibition. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer performed their rock-and-roll arrangement of the music in concert for many years; this excerpt from the resulting live album showcases the group at the height of their powers, rendering some seriously sinister music.
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s version of “The Hut of Baba Yaga” incorporates an original composition “The Curse of Baba Yaga,” including music and lyrics that do not appear in Mussorgsky’s original. The ending is a bit abrupt because the track on the complete album segues to another piece, “The Gate of Kiev.”