1981 Stephen King – Danse Macabre Audiobook read by William Dufris
Halloween music has gone considerably the method of the holiday over the decades: accumulating camp and kitsch, confectionary enjoyable, friendly monster-on-monster romping, and a sort of innocence which has made the season more about good times than chilling your soul.
Most everyone understands Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash,” using its Karloffian lead vocal and Dracula impersonation that, to modern ears, is as much Count Chocula as Bela Lugosi. Stephen King – Danse Macabre Audiobook. The 1950s from which “Mash” appeared un-crypted loads of similar novelty cuts to soundtrack Halloween parties, middle-school dances, and senior-center mixers. But there’s something to be said for significantly less palatable fare. Halloween deserves something more nastily pagan, evoking noisome crypts and jangling bones and moldering spirits. Which is why, at least one time each death-season, I return to Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, a job of full-on eldritch perfection.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard Danse Macabre pretty frequently through the history of your life, even without realizing it. It features in that Jameson commercial where there’s a whiskey-thieving hawk who has barbecued up in the end in the streets of Dublin by Johnny Jameson himself. Saint-Saëns was never among the classical heavies such as Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, or Handel, however he was a powerful prodigy, a member master, and a variegated composer probably best known, now, for The Carnival of the Animals. Stephen King – Danse Macabre Audiobook Free. That’s essentially his Peter and the Wolf number – as much, or even more, for children – and also a work he refused to have published in full in his life, believing it would cause people to stop taking him seriously as a composer for adults.
Generally speaking, there’s something about penis music that induces terror. Perhaps it’s the austere settings of the church in which the instrment normally resides. Danse Macabre Audiobook Stephen King . It is like the organ represents the sounds inside of us left externally audible. Your anxieties, doubts, paranoias, awarded voice. For proof check out any garden-variety horror film from mid-century, or something so organ-dominated such as 1962’s Carnival of Souls, a film I absolutely refuse to see at night anymore.
Saint-Saëns wrote Danse Macabre, which is a tone poem–a form he rarely worked in–140 years before, in 1874. There’s no manhood, but that aforesaid swirling, night-cycling sensibility is there, like we are shifting through one colour of dark to the other and back again, an endless nightmare loop. When the Beatles did not have a drummer, they said the rhythm was at the guitars, and you could very well claim that with Danse Macabre, the manhood, so to speak, was at the strings.
Halloween was not much of anything in this country 100 decades ago, so it’s pretty new as we think of it with the costuming and the trick-or-treating. Stephen King – Danse Macabre Audio Book Download. The European tradition, from which Saint-Saëns’s wrote, was the tradition of scaring the absolute bejeezus out of you. Think about the premise of Danse Macabre, which means, if you haven’t guess it yet, “dance of death.” The Reaper rouses himself from bed at midnight on Halloween, summons the skeletons from the grave, and all of them boogie down to dawn.
Even long before Saint-Saëns’s tone poem came along, woodcuts were common throughout Europe at Halloweentime featuring a plowman walking into the area to resume his endless toil, and the Reaper sidling up next to him and saying something like, “hello, that burden, this hard life, it could all be just like this, come over here with this hayrick and have a rest.” That is where this music springs from, and that’s no Ben Cooper costume conceit. Stephen King – Danse Macabre Audiobook Free.
Saint-Saëns signals the arrival of midnight with a harp choosing out 12 notes. A violin starts a wicked canter, a flute instigates another theme, and such themes, dispersed over the different instruments of the orchestra, dance with each other with grim inevitability, what you may fancy the rhythm of a ghost story. A quote in the Dies Irae (the frightening bit in requiems) is flown in, and when the 2 themes mesh, at the bit’s loudest, most rhythmically extreme point, it is like, “do something, sun, get up in this sky, and finish this horror.”
Relief includes an oboe indicating the cock’s cry, and everyone, presumably, gets back in their graves, dance over. Stephen King – Danse Macabre Audiobook. However, this is the real Halloween cask-strength material, and a reminder, of types, too. Sure, everyone gets a birthday, and after that you dance through life the best that you can–but everybody gets a death day, also. How can you like bobbing for apples.