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JonnyCeltics's avatar

Can you suggest some "dark" composers of classical music?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2716points) January 6th, 2013

I dig Hans Zimmer, especially the Inception soundtrack. Also have a love for classical music in general, regardless of the time period it was released.

I love the cello. Dark, blaring horns. Build-up. Depressing stuff even. Building… music.

Can you suggest some for me por favor? :)

[would also listen live]

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20 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Bach had dark moments.

filmfann's avatar

Gounod ‘s work became the theme for Alfred Hitchcock.

DominicX's avatar

Shostakovich can be pretty dark. His String Quartet No. 8 is one of the darkest works of classical music I know. Also, the first movement of his 6th symphony is a good one.

jaytkay's avatar

I’m diggin through my iTunes here…

Anything in a minor key is a candidate…

Bach cello suites – maybe not always dark, but not cheery and playful, either

Moussorgsky: Night On Bald Mountain

Satie:Préludes Flasques
Satie: Aperçus Désagréables
Satie: Peccadilles Importunes

Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor

filmfann's avatar

Kronos Quartet have a version of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze that is amazing.

josie's avatar


Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Wagner had some interesting pieces.

PhiNotPi's avatar

If I remember correctly, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring had some interesting moments, both bright and dark.

Some of Bach’s music is pretty dark.

A lot of times it would be anybody who wrote in a minor key.

I just listens to the above linked music by Shostakovich. It was pretty dark.

Coloma's avatar

Hector Berlioz Symphony fantastique Oooh…shivers!

El_Cadejo's avatar

My two favorites A Night on Bald Mountain and Toccato and Fugue in D minor have already been mentioned but here is an awesome CD of dark classical music downloaded a while ago. Its got some good stuff on there.

wundayatta's avatar

The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music

Chopin, Richter, and Rachmaninoff are among the many listed here.

Coloma's avatar

@uberbatman Maybe you and @wundayatta ought to meetup for a little music making on his bald mountain. lol

2davidc8's avatar

Mahler’s symphonies no. 7 and 9, if want to hear something really dark and depressing…

JonnyCeltics's avatar

These are excellent.

Pachy's avatar

From Symphony No. 3 (“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”)
Written by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
David Zinman, conductor
Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Performed by London Sinfonietta

Earthgirl's avatar

For me, nothing could top the Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens

2davidc8's avatar

Oooh, yes, second the Górecki, @Pachyderm!

gasman's avatar

The saddest piece I know is Tchaikovsky’s 6th symphony (“Pathetique”) – the despair is palpable.

Jaltcoh's avatar

Arvo Pärt
Bernard Herrmann

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