No Love Song at All (Kazimierz Przerwa Tetmajer “Ich such Dich”, Maria Jasnorzewska-Pawlikowska “Liebe”) - Krzysztof Komeda, Helmut Lohner, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Tomasz Stańko, Roman Dylag, Rune Carlsson (Jazz & Poetry - Meine süsse Europäische Heimat, 1998)
It’s Halloween/All Hallow’s Eve/Day of the Dead - the creepiest day of the year! What better way to acknowledge a superstitious tradition than by choosing a few famous scary film soundtracks from the big and little screens to frighten the bejeezus out of us all.
Funeral March of a Marionette, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Charles Gounod) Perhaps not the most foreboding funeral march, but maybe that’s because we’re talking about a puppet. In any case, it was used in the opening credits to the 1950s TV program presented by the master of creep, Alfred Hitchcock.
Lullaby, Rosemary’s Baby (Krzysztof Komeda)
This is the super-creepy theme tune from the Roman Polanski film starring Mia Farrow, where she basically gives birth to Satan. The original version was voiced by Farrow herself in the film, and it really doesn’t sound like something to sleep by. More like something is trying to scratch its way out of the bedroom walls *shudder*.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Fantasia (Paul Dukas)
Based on Goethe’s poem about a sorcerer’s apprentice who has an altercation with, umm… a broom. Are you scared yet? Well, this video should freak you out - it’s from Disney’s Fantasia starring the very murderous Mickey Mouse.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Phantom of the Opera (JS Bach) This dark and intense organ work has been used everywhere on stage and screen, and notably been sampled in DJ Shadow’s opening track of the Entroducing album. Most famously, however, it was used in the first reveal of the Phantom’s mask in this silent film from the 1920s. Look at his FACE!
Dance of the Knights, Romeo and Juliet (Sergei Prokofiev) Otherwise known as Montagues and Capulets, this is the ball where the forbidden lovers first meet. The one at which Romeo - the Montague - isn’t supposed to be. Prokofiev creates the dark and foreboding mood through dynamic range and dissonant harmonies.
Music for strings, percussion and Celesta, The Shining (Bela Bartok)
This is the sound of an unidentified something sneaking up on you in the dark. Most notably, from Kubrick’s horror film based on the Stephen King novel of the same name - the sliding, high-pitched violins are Psycho-esque, and the whole thing builds to unbearable tension.
Requiem: Dies Irae, Natural Born Killers (Giuseppe Verdi) A requiem is the music intended to be played in a Roman Catholic funeral mass. This one in particular was composed by Verdi for his favourite Italian poet and novelist. Dies Irae means ‘Day of Wrath’ and the lyrics describe the day of judgment, the last trumpets summoning souls before the throne of God, where the unsaved will be cast into eternal flames.
Krzysztof Komeda (born Krzysztof Trzciński) was a Polish film music composer and jazz pianist. Perhaps best known for his work in film scores, Komeda wrote the scores for Roman Polanski’s films Rosemary’s Baby, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Knife in the Water and Cul-de-sac. Komeda’s album Astigmatic (1965) is widely regarded as one of the most important European jazz albums
Canzone for Warschau (Czeslaw Milosz “Nach der Katastrophe - Warschau 1943”) - Krzysztof Komeda, Helmut Lohner, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Tomasz Stańko, Roman Dylag, Rune Carlsson (Jazz & Poetry - Meine süsse Europäische Heimat, 1998)