Halloween 2019, Part 2


NO ONE READS THIS BLOG EXCEPT ME, THE SCARIEST HALLOWEEN THOUGHT OF THEM ALL!!! But CPS is on strike, which means I have nothing to do, so here I am throwing terrifying music into the void of the internet.


11. Prelude, The Ballad of Sweeney Todd, Sondheim, (1979)

Used this recording for extra views of instrumentalists, not because I think classical musicians are better than musical theater performers, cuz they are equally great.

Okay, don’t come at me about whether or not this is classical music. Opera houses are doing it now because as this musical is now 40 years old and has made a lot of money, so it’s finally become welcome in opera houses. ZING.

This prelude has it all: spooky organ, horrifying work whistle, terrifyingly questionable cockney accents, foreboding tale and of course, MURDER. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (whistle noise obviously). I give it a score of, one upsetting pumpkin in an overcoat and proper hat.

12. “Maksamerelised” (SATANISTS), Kratt, Tubin, (1943)

This video isn’t the complete track…cuz we are in some indie classical music territory where you can brag to your friends that you knew this obscure Estonian ballet way before it was cool. Or you could gleefully share this information with your friends instead of shaming them and we could save classical music from being a cesspit of elitist twats.

This ballet is about the parasitic goblin Kratt, who gets into the heads of people and gives them an insatiable craving for money until they ruin their lives and die, taking the goblin along with them. This ballet comes with another spooky story too; When the ballet was doing its initial run in Tartu, Estonia, the city was bombarded by Soviets. With no time to change out of their costumes, the dancers fled the building in full goblin gear, completely terrifying their townspeople.

Much evil low brass, Satan in the title and real-life spooking people give this a score of one sexy goblin king presenting you with a pumpkin.

13. (SPOOKY NUMBER!) “The Worship of the Beast”, The Apocalypse, Goosens, (1953)


After each World War there tends to be a dope/sad outpouring of PTSD in the form of really radical music. Both literally and also it’s rad AF music. Very exciting fact about Goosens is that his career was essentially ruined by an occult scandal, so I assume he knows some shit about the devil. Or just had a fun girlfriend who liked ouija boards, it’s very hard to tell in the 1950’s but for the sake of this post let’s assume he was a REAL WITCH!

I give this a score of one apocalyptic dragonfire pumpkin. Do not question this scoring. It is highly scientific

14. “Angor, timor, horror, terror” De temporum fine comoedia, Orff, (1972/ revised 1979)

Hey, Orff wrote an opera about end times! Who knew? Disclaimer as expressed in recent posts, real bummed to find out that Orff was a Nazi sympathizer. In spite of, or maybe because of that, this is a creeptastic piece. People often recommend Carmina Burana as a Halloweeny work, and the fact is, that piece is about gambling, drinking, and sex; all three are things that might be involved in one’s Halloween, but none of those are really spoooooky. This is fucking terrifying and I cannot for the life of me dig up a libretto/translation to this thing, but I can tell you that the title translates to “Anguish, fear, horror, terror” and I think the music speaks well for itself. For a little more context, I found this description:

The last of mankind come into view, out of darkness and wisps of mist. The universal catastrophe has taken place. Cries of woe are heard: the sky has fallen in, the sun has been extinguished, and human survivors roam about without any to warn or keep watch. The shadow of the Gregorian sequence “Dies irae, dies ilia” falls across the three-part chorus, led by a ‘protagonist’ in the Greek sense. “Make an end!” plead the last men. “At the gates of the underworld, the dark eye looks upon us, with darkness …”

I give this a score of one pumpkin facing personal end times

15. “De Demonibus” Requiem für Hieronymus Bosch, Glanert (2016)

Glanert is a German opera composer most of the time, but luckily he decided to dramatize the death of famed butt-music-composer and painter, Hieronymus Bosch. From the program notes:

‘My Requiem takes place several seconds after Bosch’s decease. His soul is condemned to go on its way to purgatory.  Prior to the great judgment, a hearing is held.  The key question,’ Glanert tells with mischievous pleasure, is ‘whether our Bosch will go to paradise or be destined for hell’.

Again, I got no translation for ya here because this piece is way too new to have that stuff floating around, so let’s all try to get some new performances of this in the US so I can go, hear it, and keep a program (aka a copy of the translation) FOREVER. I think the hellish spook factor works even without translation, much as it pains me to give you music without full context. This obviously receives a score of, pumpkin hiding in bosch’s hell.

15. Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, Penderecki, 1961

I struggled with whether or not this was too real for Halloween, but the truth is, this is probably the most disturbing and upsetting piece of classical music that’s out there. Minus the title, this is essentially the greatest horror movie moment where they actually SEE the ghost, and then they stretched that second of terror into eight-ish minutes. Originally the piece was pretty derivatively called 8’37” and Penderecki didn’t compose it with Hiroshima in mind, but later felt that association could be made. So…I feel ok spooking kids with it…it’s just death. Death everywhere. I give it a score of graphic pumpkin death.

Happy Halloween! If CPS stays on strike, I’ll have a new post up in the next couple of days about which instrument is truly the spookiest!

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