Monday, July 17, 2006

One of my favorite pieces...

Talking about the new Anita Blake book has brought me around to thinking about, and then of course to playing, one of my favorite pieces of Classical Music ever, Camille Saint-Saens "Danse Macabre".

The opening 3 minutes are both playful, and delightfully creepy; and are meant to invoke images of the devil playing a fiddle to riase the dead of the graveyard to dance for him on Halloween night. The piece then transitions into a carnival atmosphere, but there is always a faint undercurrent of menace to it.

I dunno about y'all, but listening to it, I can see it. The pieces makes the little hairs on the back of my neck rise when it's played right.

The piece has also been used in countless movies and TV shows as background music for wel... the macabre. Most recently I remember it being used in the background of the Buffy episode "Hush", where all the peoples voices were silenced. It was PERFECT.

You can get a free copy of the piece from wikipedia, but that particular version doesnt quite have the impact of some others I've heard. I think the best recording of it is from the Royal Philharmonic, as conducted by Charles DuToit (the 1991 re-release is technically far better than the 1980 recording).

Next up on the playlist, Carl Orffs Carmina Burana, followed by a full set of Queen favs to get me through the rest of the day (not in this order):
  1. Seven Seas of Rhye
  2. Hammer to fall
  3. Tie Your Mother Down
  4. Somebody to Love
  5. Show Must Go On
  6. I Can't Live With You
  7. Headlong
  8. I'm going slightly mad
  9. Play the Game
  10. Bicycle Race
  11. Fat Bottomed Girls
  12. One Vision
  13. A Kind of Magic
  14. Who Wants to Live Forever
  15. Gimme the Prize
  16. Princes of the Universe
  17. Sheer Heart Attack
  18. We Are the Champions
  19. We Will Rock You
  20. Bohemian Rhapsody
  21. Keep yourself alive
  22. Stone Cold Crazy
  23. Now I'm Here
  24. Killer Queen

Nothing like a little Queen to get my energy up; ESPECIALLY the highlander suite from "a kind of magic.