Written by The Weekend Vote
Published: October 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM [UTC]
Of course this has me thinking about the pieces in our classical repertoire, and which ones are the scariest and spookiest. I've compiled a few for your to consider for this week's vote. Also, please share your favorite scary or spooky music and let us know why you like it and any related stories!
Here's a piece especially for us fiddle players, with scordatura violin (the E tuned down to an Eb for that evil tritone effect). It's the violinist's music that coaxes skeletons from their graves at midnight on Halloween. Spoooky!
Danse Macabre (Saint-Saëns) - Angèle Dubeau (2013)
The great violinist Paganini was said to have to have traded his soul to the devil for his terrific violin chops. Here is his "Witches' Dance," played by the late Eugene Fodor. To me it doesn't sound scary, just wicked good.
Le Streghe ('Witches' Dance') (Paganini) - Eugene Fodor
When I was a child, we frequently viewed this clip from Disney's "Fantasia" when we had snow days, etc. It gave me nightmares! I always did enjoy playing the piece, which isn't a bad one for youth orchestras.
Night On Bald Mountain (Mussorgsky) - Fantasia (1941)
The last movement of Berlioz' "Symphonie Fantastique" incorporates the "Dies Irae," the 13th c. Latin hymn about Judgment Day that is also used in the requiem mass, which adds a dimension of deep-seated spook.
Symphonie Fantastique, IV-V (Berlioz)
A few Halloweens ago, a neighbor's spectacular yard display included this video, projected onto an entire wall of their house! This wouldn't win for music composition alone (it's all pretty derivative), but what puts it into the running for me is its apt use of animation to magnify the feeling of the music:
Silly Symphony Skeleton Dance (Disney 1929)
So which spooky piece do you like best, of these? And if your favorite is not included (and I had to leave out so many, I'm sure this is very possible!) please share what your favorite spooky, Halloween-ish tune is!
The piece shows up as background music in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, which I first saw around that same time. It's in the rescue scene -- just before the demise of the Wicked Witch and the return to Emerald City. Side note -- sorry -- a little off topic: I don't recommend showing Oz to very young children -- say, preschool age or younger -- although it depends on the individual kid. I was ready for it at 7; some could be ready a few years younger -- who knows? Use your discretion.
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