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Danse Macabre

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Published on Oct 30, 2010

Our interpretation of Camille Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre for Halloween. According to legend, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. He plays his violin (Making use of Scordatura tuning where the E string is purposely made an E flat) as skeletons dance around him. The original piece is based on a poem by Henri Cazalis that goes like this: Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence, Striking a tomb with his heel, Death at midnight plays a dance-tune, Zig, zig, zag, on his violin. The winter wind blows, and the night is dark; Moans are heard in the linden trees. White skeletons pass through the gloom, Running and leaping in their shrouds. Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking, You can hear the cracking of the bones of the dancers. A lustful couple sits on the moss So as to taste long lost delights. Zig zig, zig, Death continues The unending scraping on his instrument. A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked. Her partner grasps her amorously. The lady, it's said, is a marchioness or baroness And her green gallant, a poor cartwright. Horror! Look how she gives herself to him, Like the rustic was a baron. Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband! They all hold hands and dance in circles. Zig, zig, zag. You can see in the crowd The king dancing among the peasants. But hist! All of a sudden, they leave the dance, They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed. Oh what a beautiful night for the poor world! Long live death and equality!




Cellist: Efren DeGala
Violinist: John Nickels
Camera: Stephen Sherman

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