This rendition of Transylvanian Melody starts slowly. Give it a half minute.
What makes a piece of music haunting?
Is it the slightly mangled and vaguely discordant repetitions of a long melody-line?
To me it is the musical equivalent of a very old man, well past his prime trying to recount a story from his life. He gets part-way through the story and becomes distracted. When he restarts it is not where he left off. Some of the time when he repeats parts of the story the details have changed in minor but noticeable particulars and the cadence is never twice-the-same.
It is haunting and provocative because we are mentally trying to fix or reconcile this story that swirls like fog around us.
And as you listen to the old man repeatedly battle his way through the story, it occurs to you that the reason the story is familiar is because it was the story-line from a show that was on TV the previous night.
What do the musicians out there think?
You want "haunting"? Try the violin concerto from " Schindler's List" as played by Itzak PerelmanReplyDelete
Sorry ' Itzhak" Perlman . Composed by John Williams.Delete
That entire movie and music was haunting.Delete
ERJ, it is for me a mix of things. Minor keys are one thing (I cannot think of a haunting melody in a major key). The "sound" of the instrument as well: some instruments such as violins or cellos or bagpipes seeming to carry haunting in their very nature; oboes and tubas, less so. It also is that the music "bears" a certain sadness that I cannot define other than to say it is simply there.ReplyDelete
Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings...in Platoon and a few memorial videos that emerged shortly after 9/11 with still pictures of the devastation embedded within. Scrubbed from the www by now, most likely.ReplyDelete
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