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darker side of classical music

darker side of classical music
July 03, 2009, 02:17:40 PM
ive try seaching for more darker Classical music, the only stuff ive come across is the like of movies soundtracks. any ideas on composers that like to indulge in the sinister side?

Re: darker side of classical music
July 04, 2009, 10:37:59 AM
tchaikovsky explored a dark place of the soul in his symphony 6... the first and fourth mvts.
mahler symphony 2 (one my favorites, i do have mahleria) and verdi's dies irae from 'requiem' can be very dark.

dj

Re: darker side of classical music
July 04, 2009, 05:08:56 PM
Dark can mean a lot of things, but Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin has frequently been described as "hellish". Prokofiev's Scythian suite has some dark and violent moments, and probably has been a major influence on film scores. Holst's Mars is already pretty famous, but I like Neptune a little better: it's calmer, but darker and more mysterious and subtle, kind of like the Burzum of the Planets suite.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 06, 2009, 12:18:47 AM
I like Neptune a little better: it's calmer, but darker and more mysterious and subtle, kind of like the Burzum of the Planets suite.

The same is largely true of Saturn, I feel.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 06, 2009, 02:51:25 AM
If what you're looking for in music is 'darkness', why don't you listen to metal/hardcore/electronic? Classical music is, in general, too multidimensional to fill adequatly these kind of cravings. Where modern music succeeds in my mind, it's in its ability to pinpoint those very specific emotions, ambiences, etc. and to convey them into music in a simple, but highly efficient manner, while the classical composers seemed to prefer a more all-encompassing view of things.

I mean, I haven't heard all the music that's been composed in the entire history of mankind, but I can tell you that so far, I haven't heard anything (in classical music or otherwise) that sounds darker than Incantation, angrier than Minor Threat, more assertive than Amebix etc.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 06, 2009, 03:05:41 AM
Try these two compositions:

Ligeti - "Atmospheres"

Pendercki - "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima"

Those are my two favorite pieces as far as "modernist" classical music goes, most of which fails because it ends up breaking musical rules purely for the sake of doing so. These pieces actually have a motive behind them that relates to art, not just the artist's desire to "go against the grain."

Re: darker side of classical music
July 07, 2009, 11:13:20 AM
benjamin britten: war requiem - to me, very intense.
regarding 'dark' music diets, it's really best to incorporate mucho light...then the dark you're after shows up more.

dj

Re: darker side of classical music
July 08, 2009, 01:33:14 AM
Despite my new user I am sure after several posts some of the members here might recognize who I am.

Darkness as an atmosphere and as an end to a piece of music is not likely to find a truly great number of analogues in classical music. Classical music in the western tradition has been since its inception music to exalt the Christian God and speak of his virtues. Themes I am sure we can agree do not lend themselves all that well to the pursuit of dark natured music. Because of this it is unlikely that you will find all that much to your asking that comes before Beethoven and Schubert. However that being said I could make a fist full of the matter from the pre-romantic era. While there was indeed secular and court music they generally were never dark in nature and are usually a much lighter fair than the sacred music of the time.

In the German Baroque there was two main schools of organ performance and composition, the northern German organ school and the southern. The northern organ school is noted for its technical display in many of its works and a greater varieties of rhythms where by contrast the southern organ school is dominated by much more harmonically and rhythmically simple works. I would recommend any Toccatas which are a semi improvisational like works with a general tendency to display technical proficiency which come from composers from the Northern organ school. If they are in a minor key they are likely to be large and cacophonous and fit the stereotypical bill of what people think of when they think of a loud organ work. The most notable composers from northern organ school are Buxtehude and J.S. Bach where for the southern school the culminating figure would be Pachelbel.

Telemann and Handel were well known for their loud and bombastic sound, very much the forerunners of figures like Beethoven. While I would not usually describe their works on the whole as dark their large and often violent sounding pieces are indeed a step away from the works that sing their praises to the Christian God.

Now for something much more specific in scope we have the St. John Passion by J.S. Bach. Of the four gospels the book of John has the most pain fuelled and tortures account of the telling of the passion. While it is meant as a celebratory work it achieves this through reliving the pain and suffering of Jesus much in the same way many religious sects of several religions practice self mortification.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 08, 2009, 02:16:10 AM
ive try seaching for more darker Classical music, the only stuff ive come across is the like of movies soundtracks. any ideas on composers that like to indulge in the sinister side?

I don't think this is a smart way to approach classical music. The point of classical is not to make wallpaper for a specific mood, but to wrap moods into a narrative so you can experience them all in context. It's all about context with classical; rock is about The Moment or The Riff, but has no subtlety.

So... pick any great piece, and there will be dark moments, and lighter ones, and a million shades between.

Specifically "dark" classical music will all be 20th century trash.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 08, 2009, 05:42:01 AM
I agree some with cmargir and conversationalist.  After listening to Beethoven's 9th, I learned that when you go to listen to great classical music, you never get what you came for, but you will always find something better.


In my experience, most people who look for "dark" classical are just people looking to create a dark image for themselves, as if they want the music they listen to to be an extension of their personality, kind of like how people who use Myspace use other people's art and music to create an identity for themselves.  If you are one of these people, there is a list of "dark" standards that people throw around on websites: Tocatta and Fugue in D minor, Night on Bare Moutain, Chopin's Funeral March, etc etc.....

Re: darker side of classical music
July 10, 2009, 01:24:46 PM
ive try seaching for more darker Classical music, the only stuff ive come across is the like of movies soundtracks. any ideas on composers that like to indulge in the sinister side?

While you should earnestly consider what has been said by others already, you might find the Neudeutsche Schule to your liking; Felix Draeseke's Piano Concerto for example, especially the third movement.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 15, 2009, 01:50:41 AM
As has been stated already, it is hard to find a pre-twentieth century piece of music that maintains a mood for its entirety. However, I do suggest Richard Wagner - he captures 'darkness' quite well. 'Weiche, Wotan, Weiche' (Erda's Warning) from Das Rheingold comes to mind, and of course, the infamous 'Ride of the Valkyries' from Die Walkure.

A lot of French Baroque music lingers somewhere between sadness and darkness, though I'm not sure it's the darkness you are looking for. Give Jean-Baptiste Lully's 'Marche pour la Ceremonie des Turcs' and 'Prelude de la Nuit' from Le Triomphe de L'Amour.

Re: darker side of classical music
July 19, 2009, 11:50:06 AM
I agree some with cmargir and conversationalist.  After listening to Beethoven's 9th, I learned that when you go to listen to great classical music, you never get what you came for, but you will always find something better.


In my experience, most people who look for "dark" classical are just people looking to create a dark image for themselves, as if they want the music they listen to to be an extension of their personality, kind of like how people who use Myspace use other people's art and music to create an identity for themselves.  If you are one of these people, there is a list of "dark" standards that people throw around on websites: Tocatta and Fugue in D minor, Night on Bare Moutain, Chopin's Funeral March, etc etc.....


Very good points man. I think that Classical music has become sort of a trend, in the sense that anyone who can create a link between their shitty music and Classical all ofa sudden have credibility in the music scene. And the obvious fact is that most of these morons aren't anywhere close to the Classical music they claim they are connected with.

Re: darker side of classical music
September 24, 2009, 02:08:16 AM
I am surprised that nobody has referred to Franz Liszt regarding this "dark" style.  Although Liszt was incredibly diverse, many of his compositions have what I consider to be a "dark" tone.  Nuages Gris (Grey Clouds, I believe...) has a perturbed feeling to it, in my opinion.  His Danse Macabre is not original, but certainly has that tone.  As I've observed among the previous posts, many here have claimed that classical music is generally too all-encompassing to answer to such a specific adjective, and although I do agree, I think that Liszt, in particular, has a high occurrence of moodiness in his works.  Check out his Mephisto Waltzes, the Mephistopheles movement of his "Faust" Symphony and his various Rhapsodies and Fantasies -- they all contain moments that you might like. 

Of course, I like just about everything he's composed, even "cheesy" ones like Liebestraume.

By the way, this is my first post.  I hope that I can contribute something substantial to this forum.

-Alky

Re: darker side of classical music
September 26, 2009, 03:50:26 AM
Heaviest shit I've heard:

1. Franz Schubert, Symphony No. 8
2. Anton Bruckner, Symphonies No. 3 and 8
3. Ottorino Respighi, Simfonia Dramatica and Symphonic Poems
4. Camille Saint-Saens, Symphony No 3
5. Robert Schumann, Symphony No 3
6. Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No 3
7. Richard Strauss, Also Sprach Zarathustra
8. W.A. Mozart, Requiem

Do you need more?