The character of
Baba Yaga has appeared in modern literature and other forms of art, such
as music and film. This page provides a small discussion of some of the
better known treatments by authors and other artists.
Card, Orson Scott. Enchantment. New York:
Ballantine Books, 1999. Amazon.com: Buy the book inhardcoverorpaperback.
NOVEL: An unusual offering from Card (Ender's
Game and Seventh Son). The novel explores the Russian version
of Sleeping Beauty. Baba Yaga is present and the sleeping princess is
far from helpless despite first appearances. I highly recommend it.
Hogan, Lee. Belarus. New York: Roc, 2002. Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.
NOVEL: Science Fiction. Baba Yaga appears
as a character in the novel.
Maguire, Gregory. The Dream Stealer. New York: Clarion Books, 1983. Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.
NOVEL: From the publisher: "Once every
generation or so, a great wolf called the Blood Prince, who not only devours
bodies but also steals souls, stalks the northern forests of Russia. Rumor
has it that he has set his sights on the forgettable little village of
Miersk. The wolf"s evil runs so deep that past survivors refuse to believe
in him, and so it is up to the newest generation, two children named Pasha
and Lisette, to save the village. But how can a young boy and girl stop
such a beast? This mesmerizing tale draws on Russian folk stories about
Vasilissa the Beautiful, Baba Yaga, and the Firebird and is filled with
quirky details and memorable characters that could spring only from the
imagination of Gregory Maguire. This new edition includes a prologue and
is illustrated with striking cut-paper silhouettes."
McKillip, Patricia A. In the Forests of Serre.
New York: Ace, 2003.
Amazon.com: Buy the book inhardcoverorpaperback.
NOVEL: "In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning
author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never
just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where
a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his
heart...where good and evil entwine and wear each others' faces...and
where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing...
Service, Pamela F. Weirdos of the Universe
Unite. New York: Atheneum, 1992. Amazon.com: Buy the book inhardcoverorpaperback.
NOVEL: Fantasy/Young Adult. Baba Yaga appears
as a character in the novel. From book cover: "Last year Mandy wanted
to belong to a clique, but then she decided to be as different as possible--and
found a kindred spirit in Owen, the new kid in school. Together, they
formed a secret club of two: Weird Entities in Rightful Domination or,
as they liked to put it Weird Power!. Things got really weird though,
when the mythological beings Mandy and Owen were writing a school paper
about, came to life. Even more astounding, was the incredible news that
earth was being attacked by space invaders in the shape of garbage pails--and
that the only hope of stopping them fell to Mandy, Owen, and their ragtag
Tad Williams has a trilogy, Memory,
Sorrow, and Thorn, which features a Baba Yaga type character named,
Williams, Tad. The Dragonbone Chair. New York:
DAW, 1988. Amazon.com: Buy the book inhardcoverorpaperback.
Williams, Tad. The Stone of Farewell. New York:
DAW, 1990. Amazon.com: Buy the book inhardcoverorpaperback.
Zettel, Sarah. A Sorcerer's Treason. New York: Tor, 2002. Amazon.com: Buy the book inhardcoverorpaperback.
NOVEL: Fantasy/Science Fiction. Baba Yaga
appears as a character in the novel. From book cover. "Bridget Lederle
is a lighthouse keeper on this stormy, windswept shore of Lake Superior.
One cold night she sees a boat foundering near the island's shoals, and
rescues its lone occupant. The strangely dressed sailor tells her a fantastic
tale, of Isavalta, a world where magic reigns, and where she is-incredibly-destined
to play a key role in a power struggle between the Dowager Empress and
her foes.Isavalta, where magic can be found in the pattern of knots on
a string, the colors of a dress, or even smoke in the air, beckons to
her. Bridget has the second sight of her family, but the magical land
where she will go with the sailor holds far greater marvels, and terrible
perils that even she cannot see. For she carries secrets within her that
even she doesn't know, secrets that could change the fate of the fabulous
magical world that calls her home."
I have listed primarily
classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in
either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided
links to popular recordings of the music when available at Amazon.com.
The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the
music at no charge.
Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich. Pictures
at an Exhibition.
(Modest Mussorgsky: 8/26/2006): Mussorgsky's "most imaginative
and frequently performed work is the cycle of piano pieces describing
paintings in sound called Pictures at an Exhibition. This composition,
best known through an orchestral arrangement by Maurice Ravel, was written
in commemoration of his friend, the architect Viktor Hartmann."
Also from Wikipedia
(Baba Yaga: 8/26/2006): "The music conjures the image of Baba
Yaga trudging through the forest with her pestle, and of the spirits surrounding
This piece was later reinterpreted by Emerson,
Lake & Palmer (see below).
Lyadov, Anatoly Konstantinovich (also
known as Liadov). The Baba Yaga Illustration to a Russian Fairy Tale
A symphonic poem. The music represents Baba
Yaga summoning her mortar, pestle and broomstick. Then she flies away
into the forest.
Tschaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich. "La sorciere
(The Witch): Baba Yaga, No. 20". The Album for the Young Op. 39. Amazon.com: Buy it on CD.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Pictures
at an Exhibition. 1972. Amazon.com: Buy it onCD.
Features three tracks:
The Hut of Baba Yaga
The Curse of the Baba Yaga
The Hut of Baba Yaga
Description from an Amazon.com review: "ELP's
provocative take on Mussorgsky's famed classical piece [see above], and
it was performed live, with some extra makeovers. Of course, many classical
purists are still having a fit, even after more than 30 years since this
hit the shelves, but if you're a bit more open-minded, this may just be
something of a treat. This peformance captures ELP mixing moments of refinement
and explosive intensity combined with an ethereal rawness. Rarely have
I heard this combination work well...especially in a LIVE performance."A
sample can be heard on Amazon.com.
Lien, Annbjørg. "Baba Yaga." Baba Yaga. Northside Records, 1999. Amazon.com: Buy it onCD.
Annbjørg Lien is a Norwegian folk musician.
Track 5 on the album is titled "Baba Yaga." A sample can be
heard on Amazon.com.
Morozko (1965). Aleksandr Rou, director. Russia.
Also Known As: Father Frost; Jack Frost; The Crystal
Amazon.com: Buy it on DVD.
From Amazon.com: "Based on popular
Russian fairy tales, Father Frost is a beautifully costumed musical about
Nastenka, a sweet girl who lives with her wicked stepmother and is forced
to do all the work of the house. Nastenka falls in love with Ivan, a fine
young man from the village who is turned into a bear, while Nastenka is
sent to the woods to freeze by her stepmother. Will the two young lovers
ever reunite? Only the good wizard Father Frost can make it possible."
Read more about it on IMDB.com.
Yes, this movie also appeared as an episode
of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Zolotye roga (1972). Aleksandr Rou, director.
Russia. Also Known As: The Golden Horns; Baba Yaga (USA).
Amazon.com: Buy it on DVD.
From Amazon.com: "In this adaptation
of popular Russian fairy tales, witchy Baba Yaga kidnaps two little girls
and turns them into beautiful does. Unwilling to resign to her loss, their
mother sets out on a quest in which she finds many helpful volunteers:
the Sun, the Moon, the Wind and the Deer with the Golden Horns. Filled
with magical characters, miraculous transformations and delicate humor,
this dazzling fantasy from acclaimed director Alexander Row (Kingdom of
Crooked Mirrors) is a treat for the whole family!" Read more about
it on IMDB.com.
Baba Yaga (1973). Corrado Farina, director.
Italy. Also Known As: Baby Yaga, Devil Witch (USA); Black Magic; Kiss Me Kill Me (USA: video title); The Devil Witch.
Amazon.com: Buy it on DVD.
Carroll Baker .... Baba Yaga
George Eastman .... Arno Treves
Isabelle De Funès .... Valentina Rosselli
Ely Galleani .... Annette
DRAMA/MYSTERY: From IMDB: "Strange things
have been happening to Valentina, a young and beautiful professional photographer,
ever since she made the acquaintance of Baba Yaga, a mysterious older
woman who gave her a lift home late one night. For one thing, Valentina
has been having weird, kinky nightmares. For another, one of Valentina's
cameras seems to have acquired a deadly curse. And then there was that
visit to Baba Yaga's house, where Valentina discovered bizarre relics,
including a dominatrix doll, and a bottomless pit in the living room.
Valentina comes to realize that Baba Yaga is a witch who is out to possess
her - body and soul." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
Bartok the Magnificent (1999).
Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, directors. USA. Amazon.com: Buy it on DVD.
Hank Azaria .... Bartok (voice)
Kelsey Grammer .... Zozi (voice)
Andrea Martin .... Baba Yaga (voice)
Catherine O'Hara .... Ludmilla (voice)
Tim Curry .... The Skull (voice)
Jennifer Tilly .... Piloff (voice)
Phillip Van Dyke .... Ivan (voice)
Diedrich Bader .... Vol (voice)
ANIMATION: Direct to DVD sequel to Anastasia
(1997), featuring Baba Yaga as the villain. "When Prince Ivan
is kidnapped, it's up Bartok to discover the real hero inside himself
and rescue the young Romanoff - even if it means confronting the evil
witch Baba Waga." Read more about it on IMDB.com.
Emily and the Baba Yaga (2005). Clive Tonge,
Anthony Chambers .... Bob (voice)
Nicky Peacock .... Baba Yaga, Fifi (voice)
Lottie Rowling .... Emily (voice)
ANIMATED SHORT: From IMDB: "Once upon
a time in a place not far away Lived a lovely little girl, whose name
was Emily But the good times and the smiles, will all be over soon For
a chainsaw and a witch, she'll meet beneath the moon And a cruel twist
of fate will kill tranquility." Read more about it on IMDB.com.