Halloween is almost upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with scary, spooky classical music? There’s lots of lists out there of scary music, mostly symphonic favorites, so I decided to round up a list of spooky violin pieces (solo.)
These pieces would be perfect to share with your students. They are all very virtuosic and exciting, sure to inspire the young musician!
Without furthur ado…
Seven Spooky Violin Pieces–Perfect for Halloween!
What would a round-up of spooky music be without our old favorite, Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens. While this piece may seem old hat, your violin students may have never heard those unforgettable tritones at the beginning of this piece. It’s not to be missed!
Of course, we can’t skip Tartini’s Violin Sonata in G minor, or “Devil’s Trill.” Itzhak Perlman plays it to perfection.
In a sparkling flash of bow technique, here’s James Ehnes performing The Dance of the Goblins (Les Ronde des Lutins) by Bazzini. The videography in this video is especially good, and offers some cool views of Ehnes’ left hand flying around the fingerboard!
Maybe it’s just me, but I think Ysaÿe’s Violin Sonata No. 2, First movement: Obsession is just about the creepiest piece of music ever. It gives me the willies every time, especially in this hair-raising performance by Julia Fischer.
Here’s a more contemporary piece, that really brings the scariness up a notch. Here is Quan Yuan playing John William’s Devils Dance from The Witches of Eastwick. (Piano: David Qu.)
Sarasate’s Concert Fantasy based on Gounod’s Faust doesn’t sound sufficiently creepy, just mention a little bit of the story and that will do the trick. Here is Joo Young Oh (violin) and Carlos Avila (piano) telling the tell of Faust’s sold soul through music.
I saved the best for last. This piece is rockin’. I saw Hilary Hahn playing Ernst’s Grand Caprice on Schubert’s Der Erlkonig, Op. 26 live a few years ago, and it was phenomenal. This piece is supposedly one of the most difficult pieces of all time. At least, that’s what I heard through the grapevine…
Ooooh. I’ve got chills. If that hasn’t got you in the mood for Halloween, I don’t know what will! If you are looking for more spooky violin pieces, or other scary music, check out my post last week called “My Top Five Halloween Activities for Violin Students.”