Halloween is the perfect time of year to celebrate dark, spooktacular music! Set the mood in your home this month with a classical Halloween playlist that includes these six spine-chilling tunes for the ages.
Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky from Fantasia (Rimsky-Korsakov arrangement) – Our favorite spooky composition has to be Night on Bald Mountain. The best-known version of this piece was part of the 1968 movie Fantasia. Who could forget the imagery of that frightening demon on the mountaintop?
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a timeless cautionary tale: don’t mess with forces you don’t fully understand! Another classic from Fantasia, this one has great appeal for kids and adults alike, especially since this piece will forever be associated with images of Mickey Mouse attempting to chop up an army of possessed mops.
Der Erlkönig by Schubert – An operatic piece, Der Erlkönig is a dark tale of a father who blames the wind, fog and trees for frightening his son — who is actually being attacked and killed by the evil king of the fairies.
Grotesque for Viola and Cello by Clarke – Filled with rich drama and a touch of dissonance, the creep factor is strong with this composition. It’s often hard to believe there are just two instruments!
Funeral March of a Marionette by Gounod – Chances are you know this tune, even if not by name – it was the theme song for Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Originally written for solo piano in the late 19th century, it still has plenty of spookiness going for it.
Witches Sabbath from Symphonie Fantastique (Berlioz) – The composer intended for tis composition to evoke images of “a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind.”
If you’d prefer a one-click spooky soundtrack, here is a great playlist available on YouTube: Dark Classical from Classical Experience.