classical pieces that sound evil/satanic

Posted by: PGF

classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 06:33 PM

i've been wondering, what are some cool satanic/evil sounding classical piano pieces?
to get a little more specific, satanic/evil from my guitar playing is things based around tritones/dimished progressions and dominant phrygian.
but, if you have somethign in mind that you think is evil and isnt based around tritones nor domiant phrygian, i'm still interested.

i posted this in the non classical forum, i figure that there are more evil sounding classical compositions.
Posted by: Max W

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 06:42 PM

I guess you could class Stravinskys Rite of Spring as falling right into this category. It's not so much evil as savage though. Just like humans.

Britten's War Requiem is similar, very uncomfortable listening, but strangely beautiful as well.
Posted by: ChatNoir

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 09:51 PM

How about Dance Macabre by Saint Saens? (I don't know how it will sound on a guitar, though.)
A Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky also comes to mind.
Posted by: py-anno

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 10:05 PM

ill suggest the rude poem by villa-lobos. it is extremely harsh. very atonal.
Posted by: prokofiev

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 10:56 PM

Prokofiev's Diabolical Suggestions: it has tritones and diminished 9ths, even the title sounds evil. Though I wouldn't call it 'satanic.'
Posted by: JOE SCHMOE

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 11:13 PM

that prokofiev piece is also known as his "satanic apparations" \:D
Posted by: ignorant kid

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/02/06 11:34 PM

Rachmaninoff- Prelude in C# Minor comes to mind... all my friends think that is the most badass song ever.
Posted by: Shosti

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 12:19 AM

Hahaha I like that, about the Rachmaninoff.
Some other ideas:
Liszt Don Juan Fantasy
Beethoven "Moonlight" sonata mvmt. 3
Ravel Scarbo

There is a Lizst transcription of the Saint-Saens mentioned above, although I think it's extremely hard.
The Prokofiev (op. 4 no. 4) and Rachmaninoff (op. 3 no. 2) are great suggestions.

edit: Also, check out The Hut on Hen's Legs from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
Posted by: Skriabin

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 12:32 AM

Countless Scriabin Pieces:
Scriabin - Poem Op. 69 No. 2
Scriabin - Vers la Flamme
Scriabin - Tradgic Poem
Scriabin - any of the Op. 74 Preludes especially no. 4

Not piano but:
Shostakovich - String quartet no. 8 Mov. 2 Woooo!
(This piece scared me the first time I heard it).
Posted by: stojkovic

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 02:26 AM

For me alot of pieces seem to be very insane, bipolar, evil, devilish. Those include: Appasionata First and 3rd movement, Rach preludes (C#minor, Bflat Minor, C Major, C minor) Tchaikovsky...Im not sure of the name, at my teachers recital long ago it was called 'Puss in boots' its a very freaky melody which gives me goosebumps from the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty when she is walking up to P-rick her finger in the green light...such an amazing work....what else....OH YES, Chopins' B Flat Minor Sonata. Scriabin...lots of works man!
Posted by: JohnEB

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 05:13 AM

What about the Liszt Faust Waltz (can't remember the proper title). that even has a 'demonic' trill in it, although that might be due to the difficulty rather than the tonality.
Posted by: ejsauter

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 10:22 AM

John, I think you mean Liszt, Mephisto Waltz No 1
Posted by: eromlignod

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 10:31 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnEB:
What about the Liszt Faust Waltz (can't remember the proper title). that even has a 'demonic' trill in it, although that might be due to the difficulty rather than the tonality. [/b]
I was wondering when someone would bring up Liszt. He's the most demonic of all. I think you may be talking about his "Mephisto Waltz". The Faust waltz is his transcription from Gounod's ballet but I've never really found it that satanic.

A good CD of Liszt's more fiendish works:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000023D2/103-3838424-2312642?v=glance&n=5174

Don
Kansas City
Posted by: Max W

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 10:37 AM

There is also Liszt's Dante Sonata.
Posted by: Frank_W

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 11:12 AM

Man, I love Saint-Saens', "Danse Macabre," and Liszt's recording of it later... A friend of mine is a harpsichordist, and I asked him what this would sound like on a harpsichord. He chuckled and said it would sound like two skeletons doing the horizontal mambo on a tin roof.
Posted by: Chobussy

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 11:43 AM

Yes... Rach falls easily falls in that category.

But one that comes to mind might be... I don't know... possibly the second section of the Raindrop Prelude. That's actually more... suspenseful than anything. Not too demonic or evil. Slightly evil, but there's more "evil" classical pieces out there than the Raindrop Prelude.
Posted by: Skriabin

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 12:19 PM

I don't think Rachmaninoff fits in the evil/satanic group. Rachmaninoff wrote realatively dark music, but it's more beautiful than evil.
Posted by: Max W

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 01:11 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Skriabin:
I don't think Rachmaninoff fits in the evil/satanic group. Rachmaninoff wrote realatively dark music, but it's more beautiful than evil. [/b]
I agree, his music often has a cold feel to it, it's often very angsty, but I don't think it ever portrays evil.
Posted by: JohnEB

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 04:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ejsauter:
John, I think you mean Liszt, Mephisto Waltz No 1 [/b]
That's the chap. I once saw Steven Hough play this - I was sitting about 2m away from him in someone's house. I was completely blown away, and it really inspired me to continue learning the piano. Still can't play it though.
Posted by: py-anno

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 05:39 PM

ive never heard it before, but scriabins "satanic poem" might fall into the group
Posted by: 8ude

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 06:06 PM

While I wouldn't call it "satanic", the slow movement from Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta definitely has a very evil, creepy feel to it.
Posted by: Skriabin

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 08:39 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by py-anno:
ive never heard it before, but scriabins "satanic poem" might fall into the group [/b]
Again. I wouldn't judge it just by its title. There's nothing satanic about this poem.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/03/06 09:45 PM

Skryabin's "Black Mass" sonata
Liszt Funerailles
Chopin Preludes Nos 12 and 16
Pendereshki Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima

I think evil would be a bit of an overstatement, but these pieces certainly are dark, especially the Pendereshki. Maybe try some Schoenberg also, such as Pierrot Lunaire. Note though that the style of singing used is an aquired taste ;\)
Posted by: C.V. Alkan

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/04/06 02:00 PM

Liszt's Totentanz is about as chilling as you can get.
Posted by: Dave Spelvin

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/04/06 02:42 PM

Pendereski's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima is the scariest thing I've ever heard. Makes your flesh crawl.
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/04/06 05:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Spelvin:
Pendereski's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima is the scariest thing I've ever heard.[/b]
That's because you haven't heard my pounding the piano in one of those New Music, New...Really? Yeah, Sure new music happenings, with people-eating tigers providing the accompaniment by hunting audience members, no, Audience Members (an Eurasian red squirrel, quick fellow, they never catch him, but oh do they make music!). The tigers aren't the scary part, it's the music they make that is scary. Makes your flesh crawl worse.
Posted by: PGF

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/05/06 01:44 AM

thx for all your responses \:D
it'll all eventually become a big help.
I've looked up a few of those pieces, and right now im no where near the musical level nor the technical level to even try most of them.

I'll work on my chops a little more; they've been a little rusty, especially since i havent even touched a piano for 7-8 years. But i cant wait till i work my chops back up to speed. It'll be a lot of fun playing some of these pieces.
Posted by: PGF

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/05/06 02:28 AM

actually, it looks like satanic/evil isnt the exact direction i want to go in.
It's very interesting music and all, but i realized i want something sad, and tragic. Emphasis on tragic, like if someone listens to it and they are in a good mood, they will be in a sad and gloomy mood for the rest of the day. Tragic like that.

I discovered i don't really like the atonality very much, i would actually prefer more diatonic minor pieces. IF you could help there, that would be really awesome. And ii really appreicate all the help you've given me so far. \:D
Posted by: debrucey

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/06/06 12:37 AM

Liszt's solo piano transcription of 'Die Stadt' from Schubert's Schwanengesang.
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/06/06 10:12 AM

I think you should start another thread for that (sad and tragic pieces)... Usually people here don't react to threads that have gone on a while and changed subjects, etc....
Posted by: Shellman

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/06/06 02:48 PM

Hi All,
Along the lines of evil / satanic music, isn't Scriabin's own subtitle for one of his piano sonatas (I think it's no.8) "Black Mass"?...
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/07/06 02:21 PM

try the Vocalise by Rachmaninoff. There is a version for piano solo. I don't know how difficult it would be for you but it doesn't appear to be advanced and it definitely is a little sad.
Posted by: Dave Spelvin

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/07/06 03:45 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Spelvin:
Pendereski's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima is the scariest thing I've ever heard.[/b]
That's because you haven't heard my pounding the piano in one of those New Music, New...Really? Yeah, Sure new music happenings, with people-eating tigers providing the accompaniment by hunting audience members, no, Audience Members (an Eurasian red squirrel, quick fellow, they never catch him, but oh do they make music!). The tigers aren't the scary part, it's the music they make that is scary. Makes your flesh crawl worse. [/b]
AH: I have read your post several times and haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about. I'll take your word for the facts that music is generated by what you describe and that it's really scary. Until I've hear your tiger music, I'll stand by my assertion that the Pendereski is the scariest.
Posted by: mmmmaestro007

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/07/06 04:45 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PootieTooGood:
try the Vocalise by Rachmaninoff. There is a version for piano solo. I don't know how difficult it would be for you but it doesn't appear to be advanced and it definitely is a little sad. [/b]
it's very difficult to play well-much harder than it sounds \:\)
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/07/06 07:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Spelvin:
AH: I have read your post several times [/b]
You flatter...

 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Spelvin:
and haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.[/b]
Ouch...

 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Spelvin:
I'll take your word for the facts that music is generated by what you describe and that it's really scary. Until I've hear your tiger music, I'll stand by my assertion that the Pendereski is the scariest. [/b]
Penderecki?

Tigers music? Oh, they is just fanged humor... You no like it?
Posted by: 193866

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/07/06 08:15 PM

I do agree that Rachmaninoff is beautiful and sedutive, in general... not evil to me... Music that is evil to me is when I hear music and I think that the composer is completely unbalanced and struggling for sanity...I get no message from the composer except this is noise, weird and confused... Sandy B
Posted by: ChopinLives81

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/14/06 12:32 AM

Jeez guys cmon....

Liszt:
- Czardas Macabre
- Zigeuner Polka
- Valse Infernale
- aand many others
Posted by: menancy

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/14/06 04:49 PM

Alkan's Chanson de la folle au bord de la mer, op. 31, no. 8. Sounds pretty easy with a haunting mysterious quality.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/15/06 08:55 PM

Posted by: Pumpkinhead

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/16/06 10:36 PM

Oh man, for me it has got to be Prokofiev's second Concerto. The Brass entrance after the huge cadenza, the freaky climax in the third movement, and the startling, hair-raising, reentrance of the first theme of the fourth movement. God, I get chills every time.
Posted by: appassionata9

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/21/06 09:22 PM

hm, i think Prokofiev's Toccata Op. 11. I'm working on it now...it's pretty evil sounding. Sort of like a train ride to hell! :p
Posted by: drudged

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 10:18 AM

To tell you the truth, Pendereski's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima didn't even scare me. When I first heard it, it sounded too much like a bartok. No theme, no melody, just...sound effects and it didn't really grab me. Although, I'll have to admit that it was a genius to come up with something like that, I didn't really find it scary, nor did it hit or make my heart pound.

If you want something that is scary, I found the Sonata Appassionata scary, the first time I heard it. Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor is pretty creepy as well.
Posted by: Liszt_BG

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 12:27 PM

I would say, Rachmaninoff etudes-tableaux op.33 #8, op.39 #1 and op.39 #6.
And most definitely, Prokofiev's 'Diabolical suggestion'.
Posted by: I'm Liszt's coffee pal.

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 12:28 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Spelvin:
Pendereski's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima is the scariest thing I've ever heard. Makes your flesh crawl. [/b]
Agreed. That thing terrifies me haha
Posted by: Liszt_BG

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 12:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
Etude Op. 25 No. 6 ("thirds"). You've got to love the cadence of diminished sevenths that leads to the return of the main theme. The piece does end quietly on a conciliatory major chord, though.[/b]
I loudly disagree with that. To me it's even romantic! I love it.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 02:36 PM

Posted by: Liszt_BG

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 04:08 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Liszt_BG:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
Etude Op. 25 No. 6 ("thirds"). You've got to love the cadence of diminished sevenths that leads to the return of the main theme. The piece does end quietly on a conciliatory major chord, though.[/b]
I loudly disagree with that. To me it's even romantic! I love it. [/b]
Liszt_BG, I know that you're taking issue with the "evil/satanic" characterization (since my statements that you quote about the cadence and the ending are manifestly true), and that's fine; reasonable minds will certainly differ.

But consider -- and this is the specific connection I was making in citing that cadence -- the history behind the dreaded tritone and, by extension, the diminished seventh chord.
 Quote:
Music:Chords - Wikibooks
Some 4-voice chords are used in traditional, 'classical' and church music but others such as the diminished seventh were strictly forbidden in early sacred music as they contained the tritone interval; the mathematical halfway point in the octave which allegedly sounded Satanic.
In any event, I love this "romantic" ├ętude, too, but -- to my ear -- I maintain it definitely does fit the mold of what was sought after in this thread -- at least to the extent that any piece of music can be imagined to have such attributes. I even thought so the first time I heard it long ago as a child on a 78-rpm record that I bought at a rummage sale. [/b]
Oh OK. I see your point, and I agree with it because you're right about that.
In this thread though, I am pointing pieces that *SOUND* satanic/evil, not ones that contain such symbolism.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 04:36 PM

Posted by: mmmmaestro007

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/24/06 04:49 PM

you want satanic/evil- try the Listz transcriptions of Wagner!
Posted by: kcoul058

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/25/06 05:27 PM

I disagree that Scriabin's Vers la Flamme is satanic... i would say it's just the opposite - very uplifting, in a natural, primal sort of way - like a moth being attracted to a flame or light.

On the other hand, Scriabin's 6th sonata is just downright evil. It's even more evil than the black mass (8th sonata) and satanic poem, IMO, and Scriabin's too, he said himself he was afraid of this sonata and refused to perform it.
Posted by: kcoul058

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/25/06 05:28 PM

ironic too how some of the most "evil" pieces in the repertory are also some of the most challenging! I wouldn't recommend 90% of these pieces to anyone except aspiring concert pianists!!!
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 08/25/06 07:17 PM

Posted by: Molto Moderato

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/13/07 12:31 PM

Instead of posting the same question again, I'm just going to resurrect this old thread, and save forum space (yay for search functions). That is to say, I'd like to chime in with my opinion on this whole 'evil music' thing.

A lot of the pieces which have been mentioned so far don't strike me as particularly evil, at least not in the sense I would define the term. Plenty of composers have explored the darker sides of human emotion, but these pieces are usually involved with depression or despair, even the more 'aggressive' ones like the second movement of Shostakovich's 8th string quartet. Liszt's Totentanz is more grand and bombastic than it is malevolent, with plenty of more playful passages as well. The music of Penderecki or Crumb sounds merely frightnening to me.

There seems to have been little composed that truly 'revels' in evil. There's plenty to turn to for joy, or sadness, and a vast spectrum of emotions in between, but not much when I want fury, the diabolical, the sadistic, or the nightmarish and grotesque. I wonder if, in the past, this had to do with composers actually being afraid or reluctant to, well, glorify evil.

Therefore, I usually turn to filmmusic (but these are often short and unsatisfying) or other genres. Some personal recommendations in filmmusic:

*Wojciech Kilar - The Ninth Gate - Opening titles (not to be confused with the 'theme from the Ninth Gate', which is titled 'Vocalise)
*Danny Elfman - Sleepy Hollow - Main titles
*Danny Elfman - Batman Returns - The Cemetary
*Danny Elfman - Batman Returns - Selina Transforms
*Elliot Goldenthal - Batman Forever - Two-Face Three-Step
*Elliot Goldenthal - Interview with the Vampire - Santiago's Waltz
*Jerry Goldsmith - The Omen - Ave Satani
*Jerry Goldsmith - The Omen II - Main Titles
*Jerry Goldsmith - The Omen III - Main Title
*Jerry Goldsmith - The Omen III - The Ambassador

Then again, maybe I'm not looking hard enough. Further recommendations are welcome.
Posted by: Palindrome

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/13/07 02:04 PM

Ligeti Devil\'s Staircase

or

Scarbo
Posted by: playadom

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/13/07 02:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by C.V. Alkan:
Liszt's Totentanz is about as chilling as you can get. [/b]
Good music. Real good music. It's quite underrated. You should check it out.
Posted by: Molto Moderato

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/16/07 11:08 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Molto Moderato:
There's plenty to turn to for joy, or sadness, and a vast spectrum of emotions in between, but not much when I want fury, the diabolical, the sadistic, or the nightmarish and grotesque.[/b]
I wil say however, that some (if not all) of Scriabin's late sonatas are utterly phantasmagorical. But they have been mentioned \:\)
Posted by: Brooklyn Pianist

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/16/07 11:30 AM

Fur Elise. Religion scholars believe that it is played on constant loop in the deepest recesses of hell.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/16/07 01:26 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Brooklyn Pianist:
Fur Elise. Religion scholars believe that it is played on constant loop in the deepest recesses of hell.
I thought it was Pachelbel's Canon or The Beatles' Yesterday.
Posted by: Brooklyn Pianist

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/16/07 01:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brooklyn Pianist:
Fur Elise. Religion scholars believe that it is played on constant loop in the deepest recesses of hell.
I thought it was Pachelbel's Canon or The Beatles' Yesterday. [/b]
"The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n."

Paradise Lost, Book 1 254-255

Or, you say tomato I say tomato.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/16/07 02:06 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Brooklyn Pianist:
Or, you say tomato I say tomato.
So let's call the whole thing off...
Posted by: rockpeter

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 10/17/07 12:19 PM

Ok its not piano, but I just listened two days ago to Rach's symphony #1. So evil....
Actually maybe just dark like mentioned above \:\)

Peter
Posted by: ZieglerJ

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 12/18/07 01:17 AM

For my senior recital next year I'm hoping to do an all devilish music program, and I've got some basic stuff that comes to mind. Liszt's Mephisto Waltz, Scarbo, and the Ligeti 13th Etude. But are there any pre-Liszt pieces that would fit programmatically with a program like that?

Jonathan
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 12/18/07 01:36 AM

Toccatas by Frescabaldi--they are very chromatic

Sonata in A minor by Mozart (okay, this one is a stretch)
Posted by: slerk

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 12/20/07 08:03 PM

The third movement of Moonlight sonata. I have played it, but there are actually a couple of melodies in it.

Hmm, Revolutionary Etude, and Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Minor (I think) seems evil.
Posted by: eFatz

Re: classical pieces that sound evil/satanic - 12/20/07 09:07 PM

hmm if that's the case then i recommend the last movement of the "Appassionata" sonata by Beethoven.

The Rach Prelude in C minor (op 23 no.7?) doesn't sound evil to me though, although i think it's a very exuberant piece.