V.com weekend vote, Halloween edition: What is your favorite 'spooky' classical music?

October 30, 2022, 4:36 PM · Happy Halloween! This week I'd like to give everyone the chance to share their favorite classical music that is spooky, scary, or related in some way to this haunted holiday!

Halloween scary music

I've noticed that a lot of classical music (and movie scores, for that matter) that is meant to sound scary uses the Dies Irae, a Gregorian chant describing the Day of Wrath. It definitely works for me to conjure spooky images!

What is your favorite spooky or scary classical music? What quality do you like best in this kind of music? If it's something that is not on the list, please share it with us in the comments!

In case you are not familiar with everything on this list, or if you would just like to do some Halloween-day listening, I've compiled a little playlist of popular classics inspired by scary stories, ghosts, witches. The list correlates to the music in this week's vote. Enjoy!

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Replies

October 30, 2022 at 11:23 PM · I would also consider Bazzini’s “La Ronde des Lutins,” The Devil’s Trill sonata, Ysaye Solo Sonata No. 2, and the theme from The Witches of Eastwick.

October 31, 2022 at 12:48 AM · I voted for the Dukas because I remember the illustrated book that had little bits of music in it.

October 31, 2022 at 06:34 AM · Rachmaninoff is how the gentleman in question chose to spell his name in Roman letters. He signed autographs and contracts that way, it appears that way on his gravestone and in the name of the family foundation that bears his name. I think we can safely assume that regardless of whether it is an idiosyncratic transliteration, it is correct. Or use the original ??????????.

October 31, 2022 at 08:29 AM · There's also the slow movement of Beethoven's trio Op 70 no 1. The so-called 'Geister' trio. Of the ones on the list I went for Mussorgsky.

October 31, 2022 at 09:43 AM · Also consider Liadov's Baba Yaga and Suk's Fantastic Scherzo. I've played Sibelius's Valse Triste on a Halloween program before.

October 31, 2022 at 10:43 AM · The scariest for me is Verdi's Dies Irae, with Schubert Quartet D887 (G-major Op Posth) slow movement as second (Actually Schubert started and finished his output scarily - His Op 1, Erlkönig also qualifies to be on the list). There are quite a few other works that, I think, could make the "spooky" list, including above plus (I'm including stuff that, though not actually scary in content, has openly scary connections):

"The Queen of Carthage, whom we hate", Libretto is by Nahum Tate;

Certain scenes from anyone's Macbeth;

Il Trovatore;

Parts of anything to do with Orpheus;

Polka & Fugue from Schwanda the Bagpiper;

My own "The Ghost's Song", non-scary melody composed in early childhood and written down for me by my father, lyrics a joint effort between us;

Malcolm Arnold's Overture Tam O' Shanter;

Cockles and Mussels Alive, Alive-Oh;

George Butterworth's "Is My Team Still Plowing?";

Ending of Petrushka

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October 31, 2022 at 04:56 PM · John Williams: Dance of the Witches from the Witches of Eastwick.

November 4, 2022 at 10:52 PM · and, of course, the WIZARD of Oz (Actually it's my unfavourite, because of the drug addiction path the filmakers set Judy Garland on).

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