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Thread: Dark classical music

  1. #1
    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    Default Dark classical music

    haha no it's not what you think it is.

    I was browsing around amazon and stumbled upon this: http://www.amazon.com/99-Darkest-Pie...9350639&sr=1-1

    99 darkest pieces of classical music

    Well I was looking through some of the selections, and many of them seem quite odd....
    L'estro armonico? Bach's double violin concerto? The Aquarium from carnival of the animals?

    So it got me thinking, most of us know that on nearly every classical music forum there are about a dozen threads asking for more "dark" classical music but what exactly makes a piece of classical music dark?
    Sometimes I think that people just slap the word dark on any piece of music in a minor key but I minor key is capable of expressing so much more than just "dark" and I would hardly describe any of the pieces on this CD as dark actually. Or maybe people confuse dark with dramatic. The aquarium movement sounds more magical than dark to me, Bach's double violin concerto is way too energetic to be considered dark, O fortuna is on there, but I would say O fortuna is more aptly described as powerful, not really dark. Even the third movement of Shostie's 3rd string quartet, it sounds angry, aggressive, but dark? not really.

    So what do you guys think of when you think of "dark" classical music. I usually think more along the lines of composers like Gubaidulina, George Crumb, Allan Pettersson, some chopin pieces (but only some), Sibelius' 4th symphony

    Certainly not Bach's famous violin chaccone or even Ride of the valkieries...

    thoughts?

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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Yeah, I could tell by the customer reviews that others were thinking the same thing. Some are definitely less dark than others. I'm surprise to find Debussy's Syrinx (solo flute work) on that collection, I never thought it dark, just melancholy. But perhaps that was also the intention of the collection, to be sad, fiery, or solemn works.

    Shostakovich always fulfills "Darkness" for me. One symphony mvmt. is there, from the 10th symphony II, but that's definitely more fiery than dark. The Largo mvmt. of the 5th symphony is definitely dark, it's black, and should be in that collection, but I don't see it there.
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    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    Ya I would definitely describe the 3rd movement of Shostakovich's 5th symphony as dark. My first description for it would be mournful however, but dark would be a close second

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    Senior Member Iforgotmypassword's Avatar
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    Well I just discovered this piece.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM_R0...8E311983A6BE73

    Very much an acquired taste for some, but very very dark, brooding drones.

    I dig it.
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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Very much dark and brooding. Interesting. Will require repeated listening to form a definite opinion.

    Rob

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    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    "Dark" is real, real vague. Certain parts of some of the most cheery, calming classical music out there could be described as "dark" if they even come close to evoking something like a warm summer night through some vague association or memory. It's all about your brain!
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    The Passacaglia/3rd mvt of Shostakovich's 1st violin concerto brings me to such a dark place.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2_F42A6cFs

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    Senior Member Stasou's Avatar
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    Sorry, not really following the instructions of the thread, but some parts of Franck Symphony in D minor are definitely "dark."

  9. #9
    tdc
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    Things that immediately came to mind for me were the opening of Mahler's 3rd, Stravinsky's Rite (this one actually sounds Satanic to me), everything Penderecki.

    I find Bach's Chaconne in D minor for solo violin, and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor also to sound quite dark.

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