The dramatic tones of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition were a striking and strident beginning to another magical evening.
A rowing boat soared towards the heights of the Fisht Olympic Stadium, trying to catch stars on this night when the world celebrated the achievements of the Olympians.
A total of 700 performers performed as the dancing sea, and they finished by creating the five Olympic Rings and in a delightful self deprecating moment, they initially formed the four rings and the fifth much smaller, a reference to the one that did not open on Opening Ceremony night.
Alexandros Kefalas, a skeleton competitor from Greece, led the way as the Flag bearers were followed into the stadium by the athletes of the Games. They are supposed to come in without distinction of nationality but they do increasingly seem to arrive in groups by country. It would be good to see a return to John Ian Wing's original idea and groups comprised of a number of nations. It surely should not be too hard to achieve and would send a powerful political message.
The Flag bearers entered into the spirit of the occasion by saluting the crowd in a colourful gesture that would have done credit to the Florentine flag throwers of medieval times.
The final medal ceremony of these Games was for the men's mass start cross country race and, just as in Turin eight years ago, it was the host nation's anthem that was played.
Norway's Nordic superstar Ole Einar Bjørndalen capped his own fabulous fortnight with election to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission, alongside Canadian ice hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser. In one of the newer and more pleasing traditions of the Olympics, they presented a gift to the volunteers.
Marc Chagall's alternate view of the world saw an upside down village float into the arena. His world of brides and fiddlers recalled the performance of a Greek wedding seen at the Athens 2004 Closing Ceremony
Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto performed by Denis Matsuev was probably the first time so many pianos had been seen in an Olympic arena since the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1984. He was joined by 62 other pianists in the centre of the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
Rimsky Korsakov's masterwork Scheherazade followed, the magical ballet of the Bolshoi and the Kirov entranced the arena.
This was music performed at the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in 2006 in Doha and the motif of the boat also came from those Games. The children Luba Yuri and Valentina joined the dancers centre stage.
The boat here had been skippered by a white faced clown, and there were more clowns to be seen in a another magnificent set piece, a big top to recall the halcyon days of the Moscow State Circus.
The Olympic hymn was trooped out to Spiros Samara's wonderful Olympic anthem played as instrumentally on this occasion. Just as London had selected young sportsmen and women to light the Olympic Flame, so young athletes from the Krasnodar region were chosen here as the colour party for the five ringed flag.
The South Korean anthem also had the accent on youth during the handover to Pyeongchang 2018. Two children from the land of Morning Calm performed it superbly. In the wake of the Korean war, a children's choir had been a symbol of peace. Then, at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Seoul in 1988, a small boy had tossed a hoop across the field. Here children raced into the arena with giant snowballs to mark a return to South Korea for the first time since those Games.
The grand finale to their was reminiscent of " Hand in Hand", the popular song of those 1988 Games.
In a break with tradition, the official closing of the Games came much later in the proceedings than before.
As Lord Killanin at Moscow 1980 and Juan Antonio Samaranch at Lillehammer in 1994 had both done, IOC President Thomas Bach directed a message to those involved in conflict.
"Act on this Olympic message of dialogue and peace," he said.
Before the flame died, the three giant mascots appeared at on stage and the children blew kisses of farewell.
The organisers had promised reminders of the 1980 ceremonies in Moscow where a little child had been seen watching Misha fly away into the night sky.
Here as the polar bear mascot gazed on wistfully and blew softly to extinguish the cauldron inside the Stadium whilst the flame died in the Olympic Park.
The grand finale to the formal part of the ceremony was a fabulous firework display to the soundtrack of Tchaicovsky's piano concerto.
Children from the Pan Russian choir then appeared with small flames, a variation on an idea seen in 2002 at Salt Lake City and in Athens at the 2004 Games.
The stage then became a giant mosh pit as the athletes were invited down to dance to electronic music from DJ Kto but even the dance music had a Russian flavour the popular folksong Kalinka with a modern twist, The party might well have gone on "All night Long" just as it had in Los Angeles in 1984.
It had been a very Russian evening but a classic one at that.