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Halloween Mood Music: Five Classical Selections

Updated on October 30, 2014

Meadow Elves

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Spooky Themes from Classical Music Compositions

Listen and investigate classical music compositions and you'll find an abundance of spooky themes. Some of these have been reconstructed into themes used in modern movies such as the very spooky Dies Irae 'The Shining' movie theme from the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique Fifth movement: 'Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath.' And who can forget the animation squence of Night on Bald Mountain from the 1940 release of Disney's 'Fantasia' or Mickey Mouse as The Sorcerer's Apprentice in both the 1940 and 200 releases of 'Fantasia?'

This HubPage collects five of my favorite spooky classical music compositions. In some cases I've included modern adaptations. The most important element about this HubPage is that I want readers to listen to some, if not all, of these selections and let their imaginations wonder as the composer's must have done. Perhaps readers might even enjoy constructing their own Halloween playlists using some of the compositions.


Demons, Witches, Fairies, Dwarves and Goblins - Roots in mythology and Manifestation in Music

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Halloween, as most of us know, is the popularization of the ancient evening (Eve) of the Day of the Dead (All Hallows). Over the centuries, what once were an eve and a day for remembering our ancestors or their spirits have evolved into a scary time in which friendly and helpful spirits have become decidedly unfriendly and scary creatures. The creative among us, artists and musicians, have exploited thoughts and imaginative manifestations of these other worldly creatures into stimulating works. These works, especially the musical, have the power to lead us among our own imaginations and dream-paths. Enjoy my selections!

Graphic: By C. Williams (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

#1 - Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique- 5th Movement (Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath) - Here are several variations of the original composition.

Here is the first of my Halloween Mood Music Selections. The variations of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique- 5th Movement (Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath) mentioned here include an excellent rendition of the classical portion of this symphony plus an extraordinarily spooky rendition taken from the movie "The Shining."

Berlioz: "Symphonie Fantastique" - 5th Movement with Leonard Bernstein

Detail from the Memorial of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, St. Mark Cemetery, Austria, Vienna

Detail from the Memorial of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, St. Mark Cemetery, Austria, Vienna
Detail from the Memorial of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, St. Mark Cemetery, Austria, Vienna

#2 - Mozart " Requiem Dies Irae " - Sends cold chills up one's spine!

Here are a long version,a shorter version, and one, a cover of Mozart's Requiem (Dies Irae) on 3 electric guitars mixed in with the "Requiem Dies Irae" Backing Track.

W.A. Mozart - Sequentia (Dies Irae) Requiem

Alfred Bierstadt: "Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rosalie - 1866"

Alfred Bierstadt:  "Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rosalie - 1866"
Alfred Bierstadt: "Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rosalie - 1866"

#3 - Night on Bald Mountain

Night on Bald Mountain, well known from the 1940 version of the Disney animation 'Fantastia,' is a composition by Modest Mussorgsky. The composition, originally titled St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain, exists in, at least, two versions, a seldom performed 1867 version and a later (1886) and very popular "fantasy for orchestra" arranged by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Presented here are the classical versions and the 1940 Disney version with animation.

  • Version #1 Night on Bald Mountain (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov);
  • Version #2 Night on Bald Mountain: Leopold Stokowski recording his own version of Mussorgsky's own original orchestral and choral versions, also edited or arranged by Rene Leibowitz (and recorded by him) as well as Charles Gerhardt and several others;
  • Version #3 Fantasia(1940) featuring "Night on Bald Mountain": The first half of the final animation sequence.

Dancers from "Night on the Bare Mountain"

Photograph of Night on the Bare Mountain, 1924, no photographer listed
Photograph of Night on the Bare Mountain, 1924, no photographer listed | Source
Natalia Goncharova's color costume design for Night on the Bare Mountain
Natalia Goncharova's color costume design for Night on the Bare Mountain | Source

Fantasia (1940) Theatrical Trailer Cover

Fantasia (1940) Theatrical Trailer Cover
Fantasia (1940) Theatrical Trailer Cover

#4 - Walt Disney's Fantasia

'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' (L'apprenti sorcier) written by Paul Abraham Dukas (1 October 1865 – 17 May 1935), has eclipsed that of Dukas' other surviving works. This French composer was also a critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. Here are some of the variations available on YouTube:

#1 - Walt Disney - Fantasia - Mickey The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Eight + minutes) with more of the magician

#2 - Walt Disney- Mickey Mouse- Fantasia (Nine + minutes)

#3 - Re-Score: Fantasia - Mickey the Magician by a student (Very Short)

#4 - Fantasia: Special Edition HD Footage (The Sorcerers Apprentice, Clip from the re-release of Disney's "Fantasia", in November 2010 Blu-Ray release and December 2010 DVD release.

The Troll King and the Princess - 1905

The Troll King and the Princess - 1905
The Troll King and the Princess - 1905

Selections of the composition 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' to Download to Your MP3 Player

#5 - Grieg - In the Hall of the Mountain King

Grieg drew inspiration for his compositions from Norwegian folk music. In the Hall of the Mountain King (Norwegian: I Dovregubbens Hall) is a piece of orchestral music composed by Grieg for the sixth scene of Act II in Henrik Ibsen's play "Peer Gynt," which premiered in Christiania (Oslo) on February 24, 1876.

Music: Your Choice for Halloween

"Tartini's Dream" by Louis-Lopold Boilly (1761-1845). Illustration of the legend behind Giuseppe Tartini's "Devil's Trill Sonata".
"Tartini's Dream" by Louis-Lopold Boilly (1761-1845). Illustration of the legend behind Giuseppe Tartini's "Devil's Trill Sonata".

What is your favorite kind of Halloween music?

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Musical Instruments and Creepy Sounds

Wurlitzer Model 44 (1953/54-1964?) Electrostatic Reed Organ
Wurlitzer Model 44 (1953/54-1964?) Electrostatic Reed Organ | Source

Which Musical Instrument makes the Creepiest Sounds?

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Dd you enjoy my five favorite pieces of Spine-tingling music? What other choices would you have? Do you enjoy derivations from classical music for holiday music?

Comments About the Musical Choices

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    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 

      6 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks so much for visiting and your gracious comments! :+)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      6 years ago

      Good music choices here.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 

      6 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @BestGamesQuest: Thanks for stopping by and leaving this gracious comment. This was fun to research, listen to and write :+)

    • BestGamesQuest profile image

      BestGamesQuest 

      6 years ago

      Great, spooky compilation you've got here!

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