nymphes des bois

for tombs and castle ruins
this year’s halloween playlist

Ghostly music.  Other long-lived European monsters may enjoy this stuff too.  


Saint-Saëns: Chaconne in G Minor - Michael Murray
your evil castle organ track. what, were you going to use Bach’s Toccata in D Minor again? please.

Schubert: Der König in Thule - Brigitte Fassbaender
you need a tragic dying-king song. how else did you get that castle?

Purcell: Dido & Aeneas, “When I Am Laid in Earth” - Dame Janet Baker
this doesn’t need introduction, but this performance is haunting.

Pergolesi: Se tu m'ami - Zsuzsa Bereznai & Christian Ruvolo
lyrics aren’t particularly sinister, but something about the melody is.

Satie: Gnossiennes No. 6 - Reinbert de Leeuw
are you feeling modern? hip, with it, cutting edge? feel the fresh 1897 vibe.

Chopin: Nocturne for Piano no. 15 op. 55 in F Minor - Adam Harasiewicz
maybe that was too modern.  try this.

Allegri: Miserere - Roy Goodman
if you haven’t heard this before: that’s a 12-year-old boy in 1963 who’s ruining your life.

Croft: De Profundis (from “The Burial Service”) - King’s College Choir
I’d put the entire Burial Service here if I hadn’t just put you through 11 minutes of Allegri, but this is the best part of it anyway.

Byrd: Night of the Long Knives [“Dominum secundum actum meum”] - David Hirschfelder
this is from the Elizabeth soundtrack, the scene where everyone is just getting fucking murdered everywhere.

Josquin Desprez: Nymphes des Bois (Déploration sur le mort de Johannes Ockeghem) - Hilliard Ensemble
I don’t have space to describe my feelings about this.  there is no better vocal work memorializing a dead person, period.  we peaked in 1497, pack it in.

Dvorak: Eia, Mater - Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
from Stabat Mater.  

Schubert: Der Tod und das Mädchen - Brigitte Fassbänder
it’s Death and the Maiden, and like all the good stuff from that genre, it makes the listener very uncomfortable.

Ramsey: Sleep, Fleshly Birth - Oxford Camerata
a tender, ethereal madrigal in which fairies (quite contrary to their custom) feel bad about the death of a kid.

Hume: What Greater Griefe - Les Voix Humaines
that’s Montreal countertenor Daniel Taylor being absolutely unsettling.

Beethoven: Trio for Piano No. 5 “Ghost” in D, op.70 1.II Largo assai ed espressivo: Trio Wanderer
“because of its strangely scored and undeniably eerie-sounding slow movement, it was dubbed the ‘Ghost’ Trio…it may have had its roots in sketches for a Macbeth opera that Beethoven was contemplating at the time.”

Poulenc:  Dialogues des Carmelites, “Salve Regina” - Catherine Dubosc, Kent Nagano
yes, that is a guillotine sound running underneath the vocal. you’re welcome.