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Thread: Dark classical composers?

  1. #1
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    Default Dark classical composers?

    Hello everyone, this is my first post.
    I love classical and rock music, I've always liked rock music that is dark/melancholic/eerie, like bands such as Joy Division, The Chameleons, Echo and The Bunnymen, King Crimson, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, etc...etc.

    Can you recommend me some composers whose works are dark/melancholic/eerie and the name of the works?
    Thanks everyone.
    All the best.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Iforgotmypassword's Avatar
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    I just posted this in the string quartet thread, this is the kronos quartet playing a composition by Bryce Dessner, more on the heavy side than dark but i love it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Re4lgVCwGg
    heres another of his compositions:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oS6Z_s2lHk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRYwKY8HB64 This is from a group that he's in called clogs, pretty good stuff.

    Of course Shostakovich:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjvTTfbpWjY

    Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa isnt necessarily dark, but its just got this really heavy vibe to it along with some dissonance in there and on top of it all, regardless it puts me in another plane of existance.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iogO...eature=related

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    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    Well, save for some single mood pieces, classical music tends to have a more all-encompassing approach than rock genres like post-punk, so it can be hard to answer questions like this. It's sort of like trying to recommend dark turkey recipes.

    That said, maybe these will jive with what you're looking for.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH_v9niFoVc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjvTTfbpWjY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veUJxETj7-c
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-DNzwV-M1M
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjU7ilCNTV4 (debateable, but I find this very sad)
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    tdc
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    Off the top of my head Id just suggest checking out various works by : Stravinsky, Penderecki, Bartok, Shostakovich, Mahler, Prokofiev, and Takemitsu.

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    In addition to tdc, I'd say Ligeti, Wagner, some Beethoven, Barber, Sibelius, Hindemith, Grieg, Berg, Berlioz, Janáček, and Mussorgsky.
    Last edited by Trout; May-18-2011 at 07:29. Reason: didn't see tdc's post

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Not mentioned yet (I think): Britten's War Requiem.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Ligeti-Atmospheres; Volumina Get the Clear or Cloudy box set. It's great
    Penderecki-Threnody
    Lutoslawski-Symphony No.2
    Charles Ives-Symphony No.4

    For rock music you definitely want to try A History Of Madness by Thinking Plague, and
    U Totem's self titled release. Also some Univers Zero, and Henry Cow's Western Culture.

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Gorecki string quartet no.3 is like a doom/stone metal piece.

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    Air
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    I'm gonna treat this like a top 5 exercise, it'll be interesting. Just got to ask myself, what are the top 5 darkest, eeriest classical music works out there? Let's see...

    1) Penderecki: Symphony No. 3
    2) Varese: Arcana
    3) Gubaidulina: Viola Concerto
    4) Mahler: Symphony No. 9
    5) Scriabin: Vers la Flamme

    An extremely unconventional one for this topic is Chopin's 2nd ballade, which might just about have the saddest, darkest, and most eerie (if it can be called that) ending in music history - but a darkness much different from what is exhibited in the pieces I listed above. It's a really subtle, terribly tragic a minor ending that sucks all optimism out of a formerly major key romp, trailing off into hopeless sorrow - which in some ways makes it far worse than loud dramatic minor key endings like Chopin's 1st ballade or Tchaikovsky's Doumka. Also, a lot of Baroque organ works have a dark, heavyweight quality to them - I would recommend Pachebel's Magnificat Fugues or Buxtehude. Bach can seem cheery next to these. But for ol' J.S., the BWV 1052 harpsichord concerto has always been a popular choice for metal/rock fans. If I recall the progressive metal band Symphony X made good use of it in one of their songs.

    Dang, I'm feeling depressed already... Happy listening!
    Last edited by Air; May-18-2011 at 09:01.
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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Not mentioned yet (I think): Britten's War Requiem.
    Exactly , Very dark and passive ...

    -------

    There are some Shostakovich you may find so dark :

    Symphony No.14 (A cycle of songs by Lorca, Apollinaire, Rilke and Küchelbecker, all about Death ... It's also dedicated to Benjamin Britten)

    The Film music for Kozintsev's King Lear (one of the most passive music scores I've ever heard)

    Of the post-modern repertory you may choose Symphony No.3 by Gorecki (also called Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)

  11. #11
    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Karol Szymanowski - Symphony n.3 (song of the night), and many other works
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bfrmJu_drQ

    Giacinto Scelsi - Uaxuctum (and many other works)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GZgbt9sTcY

    Lili Boulanger - Pie Jesu
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRt9T_cGIBo

    Peter Warlock - The curlew
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK5Hvqn6Kqw

    Messiaen - Jardin du Sommeil d’amour (from the turangalila symphony)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54DNXjNs40c
    i don't know why but it reminds me of the atmospheres of Bocklin's paintings

    John Dowland - In darkness let me dwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKnLEGGfvRg

    Barbara Pentland - Midnight among the hills
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4mpxgy0C3g

    Liszt - La lugubre gondola
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzqZ05sYno8

    Schubert - Winterreise
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9OysEmbDfE

    Hindemith - Sancta Susanna
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFWLDy-Ajvo

    Fartein Valen - The churchyard by the sea
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YeJa...eature=related

    Ligeti - Requiem
    Last edited by norman bates; May-18-2011 at 09:07.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Some excellent suggestions above, but one I'd like to add is Renaissance composer Heinrich Schutz, most of the little I've heard by him is pretty dark. Here's one of his motets, Heu mihi Domine for bass solo & choir -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tdvYvoxbhg
    Contrasts and Connections in Music

    "When reason and instinct are reconciled, there will be no higher appeal" - Rameau

  13. #13
    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    i was forgetting about the beautiful Missa pro defunctis by Orlando di Lasso
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP03d...F6F5CC9A179055
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    Scott Joplin was pretty dark

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    Some might disagree with this one, but when I first heard Vivaldi's Winter(or the four seasons for that matter) it was one of the darkest most eerie pieces I had ever heard, It just gave me a very dark feeling that I didn't understand. It now stands as one of my favorite pieces. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCLpq...eature=related

    Bach's cello suites can be very dark as well at times, I particularly like the second suite. When I recently saw this preformed I was very moved by the intimacy, dark atmosphere as well as complexity and it made me take a second look at Bach who I had ignorantly ignored due to his popularity.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WxnX...eature=related

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