We all heard about Mozart, Beethoven or Liszt, and their remarkable compositions and melodies. Art of composing is a rare gift among humans. Creating massive atmospheric music using violins, pianos or percussion is a superpower. On the one hand, every historical event or a legend or a fairytale can be a source of inspiration for writing notes. On the other hand, some classical music creators wanted to show the occult, dark or mystic musical pictures to their audience. I have chosen five compositions which, in my opinion, deserve the attention of being macabre in some ways:
Giussepe Tartini – The Devil’s Trill
A malefic story follows the creating of this composition. Tartini said he wrote The Devil’s Trill after he had dreamt of the devil which played the astonishing melody to him. Tartini wanted to see the paper with notes in his dream but failed. Then he wrote a melancholic sonata for the violin and the harpsichord after woken up, but stated that it was but ‘a shadow of what he had witnessed in the dream’. Comic book fans know this is Dylan Dog’s favorite composition.
Johan Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
This composition is my personal favorite. The masterpiece of Baroque music era, but also gives you the feeling it was made in the medieval period. Bach wrote it at the beginning of the 18th century and split into half, Toccata and Fugue. Marvelous and epic notes played on the keyboard instrument called the organ, which made this composition a synonym for uncertain moments in horror subculture. Even modern bands use this melody in their own songs, like Cradle of Filth from England.
Toccata and Fugue notes sheet
Modest Mussorgsky – Night on Bald Mountain
This is a perfect Halloween composition from the 19th century. Main themes are pagan festivals, dancing of witches and ghosts. Almost every orchestral instrument was used to conjure up macabre rituals. It is perfect for those who love Slavic pagan myths.
Camille Saint-Saëns – Dance Macabre
Beginning with the slow tempo, the composition describes rising of the skeletons from their graves on Halloween night as they continue to dance through the night until rooster crows. Finally, the dead ones go back to their soil until next Halloween. The violin is mostly heard, and also percussion which imitates bones of the dancing dead. It is written in the 19th century.
Nicollo Paganini – 24 Caprices
Some said he made a pact with the devil because of his impressive talent. He was so fast and innovative playing the violin. People were standing in the line and watched him playing in the street of Genoa, Parma or Nice. He was a musician with a satanic smile, dark eyes and pale face playing his violin so unnatural, for his time. Some thought there was something demonic about him, and his solos were at the same time diabolical, dramatic but as well as epic and divine. His violin shreds will never be uninteresting for the true fans of classical music.
Drawing of virtuoso Niccolo Paganini
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