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Haunting Music From French Composers
The perfect mood...
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September 23, 2021 - 11:46 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2835
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October is just around the corner, so Halloween music is on my mind again! 

Erik Satie has some haunting compositions that make him my new favorite for the occasion.  I had read he was an eccentric, but just discovered how much of one - certainly not a boring character! 

Erik Satie | History's Weirdest and Most Eccentric Musician


Here's from my post in the 'Time Signatures' thread - about Gnossienne no.1 for Violin. 

'Common' Time = 4/4, 'Cut' Time = 2/2, but what about 'Free' Time? 

Warning!: Nearing Halloween! 

Erik Satie, the French Composer, coined the term "Gnossiennes" for his hauntingly beautiful Piano pieces that were 'free' of Time Signatures and bar divisions.  They were experimental in form, rhythm and chordal Structure. (Wikipedia) 

I LOVE this Violin version of the 1st Gnossienne, performed by Anna KonoplyovaFive minutes long.

Gnossienne No. 1 - Erik Satie (violin version)

Here you can see exactly what is on the sheet music, even though it has NO time signature or bar divisions!  I'm just assuming this is in Fm.

Erik Satie - Gnossienne n°1 (Video Score)


AND, because Halloween will be here before you know it, one more version described as: "Satie's introspection meets Deconstructivist irony.  Here is the most ethereal, contrite and disturbing version of Gnossienne you can imagine..." 

Gnossienne n°1 (Satie) - Decostruttori Postmodernisti


This is my favorite VIOLA version of Gnossienne no.3, performed by Grigory Tsyganov!

Erik Satie. Gnossienne no.3 for viola and harp

A CELLO version of No.2, performed by Steven Honigberg.

Erik Satie Gnossienne No. 2 for cello and piano



- Emily


September 24, 2021 - 12:35 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2835
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Yann Tiersen, is a French multi-instrumentalist & composer of music that's perfect for Halloween! 

Music from 3 of his albums were used in the film, "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" (Amélie).  Some haunting melodies!

Yann Tiersen - L'Homme aux bras ballants (Nuits de Fourvières 2002)

According to the comments, the member in the back is using a "Ondes Martenot" (similar to a theramin?) in this next Tiersen video.

Yann Tiersen - L'Horloge

Another haunting Tiersen example, some Counterpoint, maybe modulation? 

Yann Tiersen ~ Hanako


I've mentioned Cecile Corbel, from Brittany, a few times.  Her songs can be haunting and they just beckon for Violin, Viola & Cello to join in - so I've included a few, here. 

Like some of the composers, she has an uncanny way of making me feel like I might have just had a horrific day, but I should be happy, it could always be worse. (lol) 

C'est la vie!

...so, shrug your shoulders & lighten your step!

Cecile Corbel - La Fille Damnee

Cecile Corbel - La Fiancée

Cecile Corbel - Neige (Snow)

I'm sure you'll find it's usually pretty easy to pick out the main notes of Cecile's melodies - to play along. 





- Emily

Gordon Shumway
London, England
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September 24, 2021 - 8:48 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
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Well, the classic, and coincidentally also French, is probably Saint-Saëns' danse macabre. Its always worth being able to play the theme from that one.



October 5, 2021 - 7:28 am
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Danse Macabre IS a Classic for Halloween, but Halloween is only a few weeks away! 

I think I would probably need to start learning it now, for next year - I just don't have the ambition for that, yet. 🤔 ...but, maybe a phrase or 2 might be doable (for me).

I do seem to be drawn back to Yann Tiersen's music.  Really liking "L'Homme aux bras ballants".  I'll have to try it today, to make sure it's the melody - not just the pipes I'm liking. (lol) 


Aah! ...the perfect tempo!

I just might have to extend my Halloween to Thanksgiving, if I get too carried away with all this great music I've found in all Genres! 

- Emily

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