Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Danse Macabre

Caveat: I am in no way responsible for the songs contained herein getting stuck in your brain. Enter at your own risk.

It all started this morning with the very catchy Grieg song In the Hall of the Mountain King. You see, it was in my head. And I couldn’t get it out of my head. Even Slim playing Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries at full tilt couldn’t dislodge it from the record player in my brain that was playing it over. I posted my conundrum to my Facebook profile and about two hours later found a response left by the lovely and talented ballet mistress Linze McRae. Her suggestion, “Add a little of Saint-Saens Danse Macabre and you'll be on your way!” Hmmm…although the name was terribly familiar, I couldn’t recall the melody (probably because In the Hall of the Mountain King was still stomping and stomping away in my attic). So I looked it up, and was delighted to find that Linze’s recommendation of Danse Macabre jarred all thoughts of Mountain King out of my head. And the Henri Cazalis poem upon which the Saint-Saens piece was based is just as delightful! Now, I have a rapidly swirling and crashing waltz stewing in my thoughts:

Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,
Striking with his heel a tomb,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zig, on his violin.
The winter wind blows and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden-trees.
Through the gloom, white skeletons pass,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking.
The bones of the dancers are heard to crack-
But hist! of a sudden they quit the round,
They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.

Dance macabre (Dance of Death) by Henri Cazalis

Perfect for Halloween!

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