Since these songs are intended to evoke mental pictures, I highly recommend setting each to play in turn and then sitting back and seeing how well the mental pictures that form in your mind line up with the intended story/pictures.
I'm also curious to hear what reactions y'all have to these songs. It's always interesting to hear how someone else interprets and responds to evocative music.
Two Russian pieces this time around. Completely unintentional, of course, but I'm sure our new LJ overlords would approve...
3. "A coven of witches calls up spirits of darkness, followed by Chernobog himself. The witches worship Chernobog and celebrate a Black Mass, followed by a Witches' Sabbath. At the height of the orgy, the bell of the little village church is heard from afar. The spirits of darkness are dispersed as day breaks.
Modest Mussorgsky & Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Noch' na lïsoy gore (Night on Bald Mountain), 1886. (gotten by dvandom & hobbygeek)
This is probably best known for the Disney version, from Fantasia, where it blended into Schubert's Ave Maria.)
4. "The oars of Charon's boat, the movement of the water, and a chanted Dies Irae are heard across the river Styx as souls are ferried away from the land of the living."
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ostrov mertvykh (Isle of the Dead), 1908. (guessed by nobody)
Isle of the Dead isn't a particularly well-known piece these days, so I'm not surprised that nobody guessed it. I first came across it in college, and used it as one of the pieces of background music when I was in charge of sound for the university's production of The Shadow Box, which is about three terminally ill people in a hospice. The director had asked for something relatively calm that built to a uplifting climax, and this is what I came up with.
It's one of the longest pieces in this quiz, and because it builds so slowly, in my opinion it makes for better background music while you do something else than a piece for active listening.
Feudalism: Serf & Turf