Our Top 5 Creepy Classics for Halloween

Happy Halloween! We’ve chosen five killer scores for the occasion…

1. J. S. Bach – Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque organ music ever and a true classic when it comes to scary tunes. It’s been used in countless films, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera and Fantasia.

2. György Ligeti – Atmosphères

Ligeti’s orchestral masterpiece became best known after it had been used in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey. The dense orchestral textures and epic clusters bring about a sense of ambiguity and mystery… as well as the odd goosebump or two! Kubrick went on to use Ligeti’s compositions in several other films, including The Shining.

3. Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre

Saint-Saëns’s 1874 tone poem begins with a harp repeating the same note twelve times signifying midnight. Death beckons the dead from their graves to dance for him, with the sound of their rattling bones imitated by the use of the xylophone. A true Halloween spine-tingler!

4. Hector Berlioz – Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath

Best known for its use in The Shining, this piece is the fifth movement from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique telling the story of an artist (Berlioz himself) who experiences visions whilst influenced by opium. This piece is totally surreal and from Berlioz’s notes, he has written how he ‘sees himself at a witches’ sabbath, in the midst of a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind who have come together for his funeral’.

5. Bernard Herrmann – Psycho

We couldn’t miss this one off the list! Music for a true thriller, Herrmann captures the tension and drama within the film perfectly. After the release of Psycho, Hitchcock even revealed that “33% of the effect of Psycho was due to music”!

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