New Music Fright Fest

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Monday, October 25, 2010

I cannot over-represent how much I enjoy the holiday season. The months between Halloween and New Years contain the right weather, amazing performances and so much festivity! I like festvity. Ergo, this week, leading up to the big holiday kickoff that is Halloween, we'll be as festive as possible. Get ready for some S-C-A-R-Y music on Q2.

Though tempted to play The Monster Mash on a continuous loop, I thought I'd go with some genuinely unsettling masterpieces by such composers as Crumb, Ligeti and Penderecki. There is a reason this music scared people silly in such movies as The Excorist and The Shining.

So mull some cider, carve a pumpkin, fashion your "sexy Pierre Boulez" costume and listen to some of the best 20th and 21st century occult-referencing music around!

Got any ideas? What pieces do find downright CREEPY?

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Comments [10]


Sofia Gubaidulina. Don't know the exact name of this very piece, but it depicts the soul of just deceased flying through the purgatory. It is the most terrifying sound.

Oct. 31 2010 04:47 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

HALLOWEEN, what could be a better time to hear music which extols the scary. Moussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain," Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King," Sibelius' "Valse Trist," Verdi's Requiem's "Dies Irae." and Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" are some of the more familiar chestnuts, but there are many more musical examples.

Oct. 31 2010 10:51 AM
Nick Shinn from Orangeville, Ontario

My favorites for Halloween:

The Elegy and Dirge from Britten's "Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings"; Peter Pears, Dennis Brain.

Scarbo from Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit.
Martha Argerich.

Oct. 28 2010 12:46 AM
Allan from Framingham, MA

Mahler -- the very end of the Sixth Symphony, and the screaming chord mid-way through the Adagio of the Tenth. Both can induce cardiac arrest. The central movement of the 7th is also spooky.

Oct. 27 2010 09:45 PM
mc gremaud from Midwest

How about the battle on ice from Alexander Nevsky?

Oct. 27 2010 05:33 PM
Robert Wendel from NYC

I myself have composed a scary work for orchestra: "Ride Of The Headless Horseman" which this week is or has been performed by the San Antonio Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Rockford & Phoenix Syms. A snippet can be heard at:
and it is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, etc
It's somewhat new, but a new hit in the concert hall. Give it a listen and buy the track! WQXR: I sent you a copy of the CD, so it's sitting in your library already.

Oct. 27 2010 02:22 PM

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

Not Too scary, but it is classic!

Oct. 26 2010 08:42 PM

I've been enjoying the Halloween theme this week -- and I think Nadia mentioned that I can look forward to Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre later in the week? I was out of town when it was performed in NY a few months ago.

Listening idea: Peter Child's Punkie Night (premiered in 2006 by the New England Philharmonic). For full disclosure purposes, I do know the composer from my days at MIT, but also I just think the piece is great.

Oct. 26 2010 02:34 PM
Nick V from Rockaway, New Jersey

I think Berlioz' "Symphonie Fantastique" OP. 14: V. SONGE D'UNE NUIT DE SABBAT - DIES IRAE is extremley creepy!
Happy Halloween!

Oct. 26 2010 11:18 AM
Gamma Skupinsky from Los Angeles, CA

Dear Nadia,

My name is Gamma Skupinsky, composer
from Los Angeles. About 6 month ago I sent you a CD with my music
("Wild 'n' Sexy", and "Obscene Limericks" for orchestra). Just curious, if it reached your attention, or did it go into the trash can:) In which case question: How to submit my music, so it reaches your ears?

Gamma Skupinsky, composer.
"Q2" is the only station I and my friends here listen to these days. My equipment includes computers, a Pro Tools studio and even an internet radio so, if I may:
In my opinion, your voice sounds a bit boomy. You may cut the EQ on your mike some mids, lows or add some highs. Of course, this is a subjective opinion.

Oct. 25 2010 12:56 PM

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