friday five: classical music for halloween

One of my goals in life is to get more people listening to classical music. I believe this would be a great weekend to explore some of my spooky favorites, which are shared here in chronological order. (Admittedly, some of these youtube videos are not that exciting.)

1) Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by JS Bach (1685-1750). Such a classic.

2) Erlkonig by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). This sad story is from a poem by Goethe, and you can hear  the child crying “My father, my father!” in terror before being kidnapped.

3) Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869). This is just the fifth movement, called “The Witches Sabbath.” This selection depicts the vulgar and grotesque sounds of a pagan gathering. The witches’ dance becomes a diabolical joke as it melds with the tune of a “Dies Irae” chant, which was used in churches to teach about Judgment Day.

4) Danse Macbre by Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921). This gruesome “Death Dance” isn’t quite as exhilarating and terrifying as some of these other songs, but the xylophones are supposed to sound like rattling bones.  Creepy!

5)  Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881). This is another Witches Sabbath scene from a Russian composer.

I hope you can explore some interesting music this weekend!