Wednesday Music: Danse Macabre By Saint-Saëns

As I was trying to come up with what piece to share with you this week, I remembered Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre, Op. 40, which is just perfect for the week of Halloween. I played this piece back when I was in an orchestra (yes, our concert was right around Halloween) and enjoyed it a lot. Here’s a bit about it.

  • Saint-Saëns wrote this piece in 1874. It’s based on a French superstition that every Halloween, Death calls the dead from their graves to dance for him.
  • The piece originally had a vocal part, but Saint-Saëns reworked it and replaced the vocal line with a solo violin.
  • The piece was not well-received initially. In fact, one critic mentioned the “horrible screeching from solo violin.” Just to let you know, the solo violin part is not screechy at all.

Enjoy! It’s a bit quiet at the beginning, so you may not hear the music if your volume is too low. It does get louder later, though.

Or click here to see on YouTube.