Dark Pieces?

October 30, 2006 at 11:02 PM · I've been looking for dark-sounding pieces lately, both to listen to and perhaps to play (I confess, I have a love for darkly beautiful things.) but haven't really been able to find much...the only thing I've come that really comes close that I've found is the Shostakovich concerto.

So, are there any out there? I know it's a broad category, but I just am looking for stuff that can give me the chills, or at least give off haunting vibes...you know, a Halloween-ish aura to them.

Replies (70)

October 30, 2006 at 11:19 PM · Greetings,

a piece that really gives me the heeby jeebies is thst Hebrew melody thingy by Achron as recorded by Hassid. Then ther eis Pendereckis Threnody.

The Janacek string Quartet. In fact a lot of quartet repertoire seems quite gloomy.

Or Tchiak six.



October 30, 2006 at 11:32 PM · Basically anything written in the Soviet Union (i.e. Shostakovich, Kabalevsky, some Prokofiev) try the 5th or 4th symphony of Shostakovich (the 4th is quite frightening if you ask me), lots of Beethoven, and anything with cello! Kabalevsky cello sonata is a good one, Sibelius violin concerto is probably the darkest violin concerto next to Shostakovich. The Ysaye solo sonatas are quite dark, #1-4 definitely are. Bartok can be pretty dark (try the 1st quartet, 1st violin concerto, 2nd violin-piano sonata, and the 1st piano concerto). Barber cello concerto is a great one too, as well as Prokofiev's f minor sonata (that one is quite dark) and his 6th symphony. 3rd movement of Beethoven's Eroica symphony is quite dark, as are his c# minor, f minor, and c minor quartets. I'm sure I could say some more but that's all that comes to mind right now.

October 30, 2006 at 11:32 PM · Hmm...

The Village soundtrack

Serenata Schizophrenia, by Danny Elfman

Chopin Piano Sonata #2, Funeral March mvmt.

Black Angels by George Crumb (I think that's who wrote it)

Fade to Black (written by Metallica, but the Apocolyptica version is nice too)

Shostokovitch Symphony # 5 mvmt. 3

Shostokovitch Quartet # 8

Peteris Vasks "Musica Dolorosa"

Overture to Aida, by Verdi (I find it somewhat haunting)

Adagio for Strings, Barber

Mahler Symphonies (there is so much haunting music there its hard to narrow it down...uh...#5 Adagietto mvmt....#6...#7...listen to them all

Chaconne from the Red Violin by Corigliano

Britten Violin Concerto, mvmt 1

the list could go on....

October 30, 2006 at 11:54 PM · I think possibly the saddest thing to have ever been released was paris hilton's album... but maybe that's just me.

October 31, 2006 at 12:01 AM · Wow, where to begin? I love dark stuff too. Ysaye #2, of course, the "Muss es sein?" movement from Beethoven quartet op. 135, Liszt's "Funerailles, Octobre 1849", the last mvt of Shosti symphony #1 (I think it's about World War 1), and a whole bucketload more, I'm sure I'll add to this list.

October 31, 2006 at 12:10 AM · These evoke deep and mournful emotions for me. Tod und Verklarung, Barber Adagio, Kol Nidre. For a giggle in all this heavy stuff, there's PDQ Bach's Tombe. Sue

October 31, 2006 at 12:12 AM · The slow movement of Mozart's piano concerto 23 ( I like Brendel's recording for the improvisation at the end) is haunting I think, though perhaps not scary. Also the beginning of the slow movement of the Sinfonia Concertante K. 364, and 1st movement of Brahms cello sonata in E minor. Oh, I also think Verdi overtures, if not scary, are at least very mysterious-sounding, like the beginning of the Preludio to La Traviata and Rigoletto.

October 31, 2006 at 12:15 AM · And then there's our good friend Béla Bartók...the 6th string quartet is pretty dark, as is the end of his early symphonic poem, "Kossuth". (Basically it sounds like a war has just been lost...which is exactly what happened!) Then of course there is the "Elegia" from the Concerto for Orchestra--I was listening to that earlier today when it hit me: the Concerto was one of Bartók's last works, he was seriously ill when he wrote it and would be dead within a year. As I was listening to it, I suddenly heard in the music: Béla is dying, and he knows it, and he's terrified. It gave me the creeps.

October 31, 2006 at 01:10 AM · Since non-classical's already been brought up, and since you want something to spook you instead of something to play, go to this page and click on song 13. That's one of the most haunting songs I know. Also, the song after it is about contemplating murder which is kind of frightening too. There are lots of old songs about murder, at least one about accidental fiancee shooting, one where the guy got drafted but that's good because he figures now he can murder without breaking the law, one where somebody on a chain gang gets torn apart by dogs... Here's a video of a nice sprightly song contemplating murder. Happy Halloween! Nice song though.

October 31, 2006 at 01:38 AM · Shostakovich symphonies Year of 1917, Babi Yar, and No. 14 are all very dark works. One of my favorite pieces for violin that comes to mind is Chausson Poeme. Also Shostakovich string quartet No. 15. E flat minor is a very dark key, one of my favorites.

October 31, 2006 at 01:50 AM · I second the Tchaik 6. Deeply dark and emotional...

October 31, 2006 at 03:14 AM · One of my professors once suggested that on Halloween night, we should face the speakers out an open window, and crank up "Pierrot Lunaire".

I am rather fond of the Second Viennese School...

Berg's opera "Lulu" is creepy from start to finish!

October 31, 2006 at 03:19 AM · LOL @ BEN CLAPTON

October 31, 2006 at 03:52 AM · Anne,

I LOVE that idea about blasting Pierrot Lunaire out a window on Halloween. That would be classic!!

György Ligeti wrote some rather dark stuff, although in general I find him to be a lot more good-natured than his dark, brooding compatriot György Kurtág. Listen to Kurtág's "Virág az ember." It's short, and it's gorgeous, but for spine-tingling spookiness it's hard to beat!

October 31, 2006 at 04:20 AM · So many responses! Sorry for any repeated ideas:

Pierot Lunaire for sure! Berg's Wozzeck is great, Shostakovich String Quartet #8 or Chamber symphony 110A I think it is...it's basicly a chamber orchestra version of the quartet.

It's been a while, but I recall the Quartet for the End of Time by Messaien to be quite haunting. Bryar's violin concerto, Bulls of Bashan. Crumb's Black Angels and Whale Song. Ligeti's Atmosphere....

I recently came across a neat piece I hadn't heard before on youtube called "song of the birds" and it's not what one would expect.


October 31, 2006 at 04:26 AM · Oh!!! Check out Arvo Part's music! And Buri recommended Threnody by Penderecki which I've heard and will put in another vote for.

October 31, 2006 at 06:49 AM · The complete late works of Skrjabin, a russian composer who started as a follower of Liszt & Chopin, then rushed in just a few years through the styles of his time (Tristan etc.) to find his "own way", when he realized, he had the ability of synesthesia (hearing colors as tones): giant, spooky performances. Orchestral manoeuvres in the foothills of the Himalaya with 2.000 participants and all kinds of arts and impressions involving, which he wanted to repeat and repeat until the whole mankind would be redeemed in his frenzy. Things like that - psychologists love him.

His symphonic works (symphonies, "Promethée – Le Poème du Feu", "The Poem of Ecstasy" etc.) are full of atavistic, mystic and transcendent secrets - tough to hear the first time, but worth the trouble, some movements of his symphonies sound like Shostakovic on cocaine.

October 31, 2006 at 06:53 AM · Definitely "Nigun", from Baal Shem: 3 Pictures of Chassidic Life, by Ernest Bloch. Originally violin & piano, later orchestrated. I think it is sometimes translated as "Mourning," which describes the mood well (the 2nd marking is "lamentoso"), but "Improvisation" is a more accurate English translation.

In one of life's unforgettable moments, I was at a scheduled recital by Pinchas Zukerman in a synagogue in Providence, RI, not long after the Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. He played Nigun in memory of the dead athletes, in a stunning and passionate performance. There was no applause, of course, but I think most of us had tears afterwards.

October 31, 2006 at 07:06 AM · Creepy moment as opposed to creepy movement: the last movement of Smetana's first string quartet, which is happy until the high harmonic note (first violin) marking the tragedy of his deafness. Then it gets sad and depressing, just what you wanted, right?

October 31, 2006 at 01:04 PM · Ysaye no.2 always feels uneasy to me and I feel is often represented just missing the mark. Bringing the dies irae theme out is not enough for the piece. The mix of the dies irae with the major bits in the 3rd part for instance need special care and supreme bow arm technique and perfect fingers in order to get the imbalance balanced.

Also the bartok solo sonata is VERY dark for a solo violin piece. The melodia is beautifully haunting

October 31, 2006 at 01:30 PM · Devil's Dance from John William's "Witches of Eastwick" for violin & piano.

October 31, 2006 at 03:25 PM · Hi,

For me, one the most haunting, darkest works is the song cycle Winterreise by Schubert. For some reason, it reminds me of the feeling I got when looking at the very last painting of Van Gogh. There is something incredibly poignant about it.


October 31, 2006 at 04:21 PM · Night on Bald Mountain!! That piece is so spooky. It brings back terrible memories of watching that scary scene from Fantasia when I was a kid. Whenever I imagined Hell when I was a child it looked like that scene.

Oh yeah - also the last movement from Symphonie Fantastique, but that just kind of goes without saying.

October 31, 2006 at 04:32 PM · Franz Liszt wrote some terrific pieces too. Totentanz.

and also the terrific Busoni and Sorabji.

But really shostakovich is pretty dense stuff especially some viola stuff.

October 31, 2006 at 06:52 PM · Arvo Pärt: Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten, for string orchestra and bell

Bartok: Music for strings, percussion and celesta (III. movement)

Orff: Carmina burana, Oh Fortuna (an obvious one)

Ives: R. Browning Overture

Hindemith: Mathis, der Maler (Temptation of St. Antony)

Click on track 11 (Versuchung des hl. Antonius), the music describes the making of this picture (Temptation of St. Antony, M. Gruenewald).

Lutoslawski: Music for orchestra, Intrada (1st movement)

And of course some of the final parts of the Debussy "Pelléas et Mélisande"!


October 31, 2006 at 06:37 PM · Great suggestions so far. If you listened to all of them in a row, they'd have to put you on suicide watch. But let me add one more:

- Shostakovich (1st movement of the 6th Symphony).


PS. Almost forgot, but Danse Macabre can still deliver a chill or two.

October 31, 2006 at 08:33 PM · there are a lot of dark pieces. some not mentioned above include:

the annees de pelerignage and sonata in b minor by liszt

wozzeck, the sonata in b minor, and the violin concerto by alban berg

piano sonatas 5 through 10 by alexander scriabin

the unanswered question by charles ives

pierrot lunaire and verklarte nacht by arnold schoenberg

sonata for keyboard and violin in f minor, bwv 1017 (i think that's the bwv number)

tristan und isolde by wagner (the ultimate tragedy piece)

4th symphony by tchaikovsky (suprised nobody mentioned it)

4th symphony by shostakovitch (seriously dark music)

polla ta dhina by iannis xenakis

symphony no.3 by henryk gorecki

symphony in d minor by cesar franck

one piece that will flip you right out is spectre by john oswald. it's by far the most genuinely creepy thing i've ever heard.

October 31, 2006 at 08:27 PM · I think I'm losing my mind. Did I mention Liszt's "Funerailles, Octobre 1849" yet? Sorry if I'm repeating myself...

October 31, 2006 at 08:34 PM · Pierrot Lunaire was actually part of a Halloween program at my college a couple of years back. I couldn't get in because it was so crowded (they didn't even have standing room left). I heard it was interesting.

October 31, 2006 at 09:23 PM · This thread is great, but I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Prokofiev's Montague and Capulets which is seriously menacing (or did I miss it earlier). Anything Russian or East European is brilliantly creepy, even Turkish Pop Music has intervals that are what I would expect ECT to feel like.

If we are not restricted to violin music, then how about Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, the bit where the Phantom takes Christine to his underground home. Never could understand why she left the phantom for the good looking but really boring guy.

Just thought of some more. Tavener, We shall see him as he is, and Purcell's When I am dead and laid in earth. Both religious pieces that put the fear of God into you.

November 1, 2006 at 01:08 AM · A better one (i.e., both gruesome and depressing) from Orff's Carmina Burana is #12, "Olim lacus colueram," sung by countertenor. In it, a swan describes being roasted black on a turning spit and facing the gnashing teeth of tavern diners about to eat it. Now that's literally black!

November 1, 2006 at 04:06 AM · No mention of "Danse Macabre"???

Cui's "Orientale" can be a bit creepy. The key is not to play it aggressively.

The Mozart Requiem is a work that depresses me. The last time I played it in a gig, I actually had trouble getting through the job.

November 1, 2006 at 06:21 PM · i forgot about the prokofiev! yeah that piece is creepy.

a few others:

lady macbeth of mtsensk by shostakovitch

rite of spring by stravinsky has some creepy parts

gaspard de la nuit by ravel

some of the later piano sonatas by beethoven

November 2, 2006 at 12:12 AM · Schnittke "Silent Night"

Schnittke piano quintet second movement "Tempo di Valse"

November 2, 2006 at 04:06 AM · I LOVE the Schnittke piano quintet...

November 2, 2006 at 06:16 AM · Somehow Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio got missed so far (Op. 70, #1, though only the middle movement is dark and mysterious, hence the nickname).

November 2, 2006 at 06:29 AM · How about Bartok's Op. Posthumous Violin Concerto? I think the first movement is haunting; the second mvt. is madness.

November 2, 2006 at 07:37 AM · A few years ago, fed up all the Music for Lovers type CD complilations, I made up my own Music for Sulkers (strictly legal of course) which never seemed to go down well with my car passengers. Thanks everyone - there is enough material here for at least another couple of volumes.

November 2, 2006 at 08:24 AM · Dear Santa,

I have been really good this year, practiced a lot, and even passed an exam. Can I have all of the above for Christmas.

Love, Alison,xxx

November 2, 2006 at 04:23 PM · La Valse, by Ravel. The bassoons in this piece make the whole thing.

Anything Shostakovich, particularly the eighth string quartet and second piano trio.

Most Russian stuff. Prokofiev...

Like Kelsey said, Part. Fratres is rather spooky.

There are parts of the Faure Requiem that are chilling - only parts, though, because at least I find it to be an ultimately uplifting piece.

There is some Adams out there that qualifies as creepy.

The Finzi cello concerto - I always find myself plugging that one on these boards. The first movement in particular is very angry and passionate, and pretty spooky, too.

It's weird - I tried googling "scary classical music" and "spooky classical music" and the suggestions on this thread are way better than lots of other lists. You've got a ton of wonderfully great music to choose from!

November 2, 2006 at 05:53 PM · sinfonia antarctica by vaughan williams is the relentlessly gloomy soundtrack to the movie 'scott of the antarctic', an equally gritty and pessimistic film. other pieces:

brahms symphony no.1

six pieces by anton webern

totentanz by liszt

bluebeard's castle by bartok

sacre du printemps by stravinsky (has some startling parts)

the wasps by vaughan williams

solo cello sonatas by britten

November 2, 2006 at 10:42 PM · I'm listening to Ligeti's Requiem right now (Magyar Rádió is playing it in memory of the victims of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, I'm listening over the internet) and it's scaring the heck out of me. Possibly the creepiest set of sounds I've ever heard. It sounds like the post-apocalyptic wailing of tormented souls or something. Spooky.

November 3, 2006 at 03:27 AM · Danse Macabre is only evil in a light kind of way.

I find Ravel's Pavanne for a Dead Infant to be a good downer. But not dark or evil, necessarily. Just depressing.

Bach can be pretty dark. After all, he did write Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

November 3, 2006 at 06:19 AM · Second movement of Beethoven's seventh symphony always gives me chills - check out the Carlos Kleiber version. It's haunting.

November 3, 2006 at 07:08 AM · A propos creepy, maybe a good idea for the string quartets in here: 2 years ago me and my quartet rent an old movie theater for students and arranged some performances of Nosferatu (a pretty spine-chilling silent movie from 1922) with the owner. Was pure fun to arrange the playlist and watch the people while playing all those modern stuff (Webern etc., mostly short pieces according to the movie-plot) usually a student would never ever hear voluntarily. If you have a movie theater in your town, that smells like the 40's or 50's, talk to the owner, it's hardly no risk for him, the costs to get silent movies from film distributions are very low and he'll earn much more with it than with the 534. performance of "The Big Blue". It's rarely done, so it's warranted good cash for you, too. Just rehearsing and figuring out together, which music sounds best to the current scene, was fun enough even without the money.

November 3, 2006 at 01:43 PM · Hi,

On the subject of cartoonish dark works, I think that Paul Dukas "L'apprenti sorcier" (the Sorcerer's Apprentice in English?!) deserves a mention.


November 3, 2006 at 03:17 PM · I'll limit myself for the moment to violin solos that come to mind, and hope that I'm not repeating too much of what has already been said. There are different ways of thinking about "dark". I'm thinking not so much "Haloweeny", as deep, sad, contemplative, disturbing, etc.

Bach - Chaconne

Bach - F minor sonata for violin and keybord

Locatelli/Ysaye - F minor sonanta (Oistrakh recorded this.)

Franck - sonata, 3rd mvt.

Ysaye - sonatas #2 and 3. Chant D'hiver (Rosand recorded this.)

Prokofieff - concerto #1 and F minor sonata (-What is it about F minor?)

Shoshtakovitch #1

I 2nd or 3rd the motion re the Bloch Nigun

Elgar - concerto -esp. the 1st mvt.

Chausson - Poeme

Barber - concerto

There's also an arrangement of the Barber Adagio for violin and piano

Now I'll go outside the violin repertoire and mention three cello pieces with recorded recommendations:

Bloch - Schlomo (Rose)

Elgar - concerto (Du Pre, Ma)

Frank Bridge - sonata (Rostropovitch)

Now, to go further outside my box - for me so much music from the late Renaissance is bittersweet and haunting. Just a couple of examples:

Dowland - the song, "Flow my tears" and instrumental variations.

Byrd - mass for 5 voices

Bach - Passicaglia in c (for organ)

Mozart - Reqieum

Tchaikovsky - sym.#6

Wagner - Tannhauser overture

And finally - William Schuman Sym, #9 "The Ardiatine Caves"

Time to stop - I'm getting too sad! But of course, the process of listening and playing can be cathartic.

November 4, 2006 at 01:29 AM · i keep forgetting! hugo wolf's lieder have some dark moments.

November 5, 2006 at 03:32 AM · I forgot to mention the Berg concerto. Also a lot of the music of Arvo Paart.

But in some ways the most mind-blowing listening experience I've ever had came while listening to the radio one Halloween night (while driving, no less!). In the New York area there is a staion, WNYC, which has a program once a week called "New Sounds". It's a sampling of what various kinds of composers are up to. It's not, from the programs I've caught, in the severe post Boulez sort of mode. It tends rather, to favor composers with Asian, Middle Eastern, and Celtic influences, and various kinds of fusion.

Anyway, one Halloween night, a good 5-6 years ago, while driving home from a gig, the host announces that he's going to play something that even by his open-minded standards is maybe the strangest thing they've ever broadcast. I think I remember the CD as "Angels and Insects", but I don't remember the selection. I think it was partly based on monastic chants, chopped up and mixed with various electronic things. Well, it wasn't good, or bad. I didn't like it or dislike it. All these words are beside the point. What I do remember is how it shook me to my core. I've never tried anything like LSD or Mescaline. With music like that, I suspect I have a pretty good idea. I'm still haunted thinking about it. I'd like to get hold of that CD. If it rings a bell for anyone, please let me know.

- I've just found some references on the net. I'll see where that leads me...

OK...The CD is "Angels and Insects". The selection that I think I heard is "Tabula Angelorum Bonorum" - with computer-expanded voices, and based on the work of a Renaissnce astroger, and a psychic medium.

Oh - and I wouldn't recommend listening to it while driving!

November 6, 2006 at 11:57 PM · a few more:

symphony no.2 by jean sibelius

piano concerto by ferrucio busoni

it's gonna rain by steve reich

Symphonie voor losse snaren by louis andriessen

quartet for the end of time by oliver messaien

November 7, 2006 at 02:26 AM · The first two movements of the Grieg Suite

November 8, 2006 at 10:19 AM · K. A. Hartmann Concerto funebre (part of 2nd movement) (1939)

And the beginnings of the four movements. Especially the last movement "Choral".

November 8, 2006 at 02:36 PM · Gloomy place here...:-)

As for violin/string chamber works I can't remember nearby nothing that wasn't mentioned. Maybe Villa-Lobos "song of the black swan", some parts of his "desesperance" vl. Sonata. Out-of-this-world beauty can also be sad, so I would include the slow mvt.of Schubert's string quintet or the lied theme in the C major Fantasy.

But the darkest I know (and love) are the madrigals by Gesualdo, especially the “reponses & leçons de ténèbres pour le vendredi saint”, never listened to darker, sadder & more “kaputt” music...

January 8, 2007 at 05:40 PM · The slow movement of Elgar's violin sonata can be quite creepy in places. I'm also surprised no-one's mentioned Ravel's Piano Trio which IIRC is best described as Raw.

If we expand to include non-violin music, try Scriabin's Mazurka Op.3 No.10 in Eb minor for Piano. I'm hoping to transcribe this for violin sometime this year. It's unremittingly sad and dark, quite the most depressingly beautiful music I've come across so far. It's a pig for the pianist to play too.

January 9, 2007 at 12:27 AM · any of scriabin's late piano sonatas, especially no.8, 9, and 10. very bleak music indeed.

May 12, 2012 at 01:07 PM · At the Hawk's Well has just been put on youtube so I was doing a search on violinist.com for "opera" for an appropriate topic to mention it on. Lots of references to software... Anyway just about at the end of the list was "Dark Pieces" so I thought that would do.

May 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM · Well, may I offer a great viola piece? "Chahagir" for solo viola, by Alan Hovhaness. Love it.

May 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM · Viola Zombies ;)

May 13, 2012 at 03:07 AM · i second the vote for the second movement of beethoven 7 by carlos klieber and the vienna philharmonic, i think that is darker than the funeral movement of beethoven 3 . I'm surprised no one mentioned the final act of mozarts don giovanni, where he gets dragged to hell......

May 13, 2012 at 08:07 AM · These symphonic examples are great but do you really expect the OP put together an orchestra to play a few tunes? :)

May 13, 2012 at 10:06 PM · Good suggestions. I found the Shostakovich viola sonatas on you tube - two great performances. My all time favorite is the andante of Mozart's Symphonia Concertante. Rember Amadeus? But despite Mozart's tragic early death, etc. his music is always most joyful. harmanviolins.com

May 14, 2012 at 01:15 AM · Great topic, I've been wondering the same thing for a while. The Allemande and Sarabande from Bach's Partita 2 would fit your bill. I've found Corelli's 'La Folia' can be played in a very haunting way.

Paganini's 4th caprice is definitely a haunting song, as is, I find, the 16th caprice.

Will keep an eye on this thread and post if more come to mind.

May 15, 2012 at 02:09 AM · http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJKqUw39GNU&feature=player_detailpage

Back when I originally posted, I forgot about this one. When I was a kid, back in the Jurasic era, there was a tv show called "One Step Beyond". It dramatized supposedly documented cases of esp, unxplainable phenomena, etc. A lot of it would seem pretty tame now - except that the music, by Harry Lubin, I believe, sold it. How could the music sell it? Just listen. And I dare you to listen to it in a completely darkened room! This theme was called "Fear". Can't imagine why. Will try to also get the other theme called "Weird". Pleasant dreams! (Now imagine diabolical laughter...)

Here is "Weird". Nighty, night! (If I had a handle-bar mustache now I'd be twirling it menacingly!)


May 15, 2012 at 02:15 AM · Oh - and has anybody mentioned the Ligeti music from the movie, "2001"?

May 15, 2012 at 06:59 AM · Personally, I don't thank Kubrick for using some of the well-known composers' works that he did - before his film I enjoyed listening to Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste without it bringing any gory images to mind!

May 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM · I found the Shostakovich Quartet No. 3 (4th Mvmt) to be very frightening and sad at the same time. The Nightingale Quartet even made a YouTube of it which, I think, sums it up perfectly. Once I heard it, I couldn't purchase the score fast enough.

---Ann Marie

May 16, 2012 at 02:24 AM · Edit: Sinfonia or Symphonie Concertante (Peters Edition). Listen to Kremer, Kashkashian Dir. Harnoncourt on you tube. A great recording - for violinists and violinists/violists. harmanviolinis.com

May 16, 2012 at 06:20 AM · Kaddish by Ravel is one of the saddest, darkest pieces I've heard.


I would love to find the sheet music for it, I've been looking for years.

October 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM · For me, lots of Bloch is dark, if not directly sad - particularly Abodah and Nigun, and the third movement of his 2nd quartet. I also find (many of these have been listed already) Barber Adagio, Mozart Adagio and Fugue, Bach Chaconne, Bach F minor sonata BWV 1018, Vivaldi "Cum Dederit" from Nisi Dominus, Franck Sonata end of 2nd movement and all of 3rd movement, Glazunov Elegie for Viola and Piano, Bach-Busoni "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" BWV 659, Messiaen Theme & Variations, all of these and more to be dark works.

October 26, 2012 at 08:59 PM · Not necessarily Halloween, just dark:

Puccini: Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums)

Shostakovich: String Quartet no. 8

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