Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave (or the Hebrides Overture)

My two earliest memories of hearing classical music go back to watching the “Bug’s Bunny Show” with my father every Saturday morning back in the 1960s. The musical director for all the Looney Toons was Carl Stalling and he wove classical and popular music together seamlessly. The Bugs Bunny cartoon most famous for its classical music is “What’s Opera Doc?” which spoofs those overblown Wagnerian operas. Bugs appears dressed in Walkyrie drag, complete with horned helmet and a metal bra. I did not see this cartoon until the 70s when I went to college, so I can’t claim it as my earliest memory.There were three other cartoons that I do clearly remember, for they spotlighted the work of three composers whose music I started collecting in high school–Mendelsohn, Rossini and Liszt.


The first piece was by Felix Mendelssohn(1809 – 1847) and was called Fingal’s Cave (or the Hebrides Overture). Stalling used the piece for what today would be considered a not very politically-correct piece. The cartoon depicts a small African hunter who follows a mysterious crow-like bird that walks determinedly through every scene unfazed by the hunter who chases him. Every so often, the bird hops in time to the music. The the way the animators captured the haunting qualities of this music by mind melding it to the characters’ movements are superb.

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About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

4 Responses to Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave (or the Hebrides Overture)

  1. kurtnemes says:

    Reblogged this on Kurt Nemes' Classical Music Almanac and commented:

    Love this piece. It was inspired by a visit in 1829 by Mendelssohn to a site in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides Islands. You can read a description of the cave on wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingal%27s_Cave. Mendelssohn was inspired by the echoes in the cave, and his piece brought the site renown, and it’s a popular tourist destination. I first heard it in a cartoon as I describe in my earlier post. Enjoy.

    Like

  2. Jessica says:

    It’s wonderful how music is tied to certain memories, isn’t it? The fabric of our lives… Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  3. kvennarad says:

    You’re thinking of “Inki and the Mynah Bird” 🙂

    Like

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