Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

From everyone here at The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Halloween filled with ghouls, frights, and treats.

While you enjoy this holiday, we would like to recommend some listening material to help get you in the spirit for this spooky day!

Franz Liszt wrote a fantasia for Piano and Orchestra entitled Totentanz (Dance of Death). It was completed in 1849. Like many composers of the time, Liszt had a particular obsession with death. The haunting theme draws from the famous medieval Latin Mass of the Dead depicting the final judgment.

You probably recognize it! Many composers of this era drew upon this theme for inspiration, including Hector Berlioz and his masterwork, Symphonie Fantastique where he featured this Dies irae in the Finale. You probably remember hearing it last season in the OSFL's May concert! Another composer that used this popular theme was Rachmaninov. The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes' 2005-2006 season featured Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances which also incorporated this medieval theme.

Click below to listen to a recoding performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and pianist Byron Janis.

Happy Halloween!

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