Saint Saëns: Danza Macabra Op. 40
The Dance of Death
“The moonlight filtered at intervals between clouds to shreds. Twelve dark chimes ring out from the belfry of the church. Vanished the last of them, you hear strange noises dall’attiguo cemetery, and the moonlight invests a mysterious figure: Death, playing the violin sitting on a tombstone. We hear cries from the tombs surrounding the wind howls in the tops of bare trees.
The notes left forgotten the violin Death call the dead out of their graves, and these, wrapped in white shrouds, whirling around in an infernal dance. The tranquility of the sacred enclosure is destroyed by shouts and laughter deaf horrible. The riot of the skeletons, with the rattle of the bones, it becomes increasingly wild and Death, in the middle, beating time with his foot creaking skeleton. Suddenly, as if taken from a terrible suspicion, the dead stop. In the cold wind you can hear the notes of Death. A shudder runs through the ranks of the dead: the grinning skulls turn to listen to the pale moon. But the strident notes of Death again breaks the silence, and the dead resume to dance more wildly than before. The howl of the wind joins the chorus of ghosts, moaning among the bare branches of the limes.
Suddenly Death stops playing, and in the silence that follows you hear the crowing of the cock. The dead are rushing tombs and the fatal vision fades in the light of dawn. “
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