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Saturday, October 29, 2016 Permalink

The Dies Irae Connection

Jack Nicholson in The Shining, which uses the "Dies Irae" theme as underscoring


The soundtrack music is foreboding and unsettling—perfect for the opening of Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece, The ShiningSo perfect, in fact, that most people assume it was written for the film.

But in fact, the melody is from a 13th thirteenth-century Latin hymn that describes God’s “Day of Wrath,” the Judgment Day when the faithful will be saved, and the others cast into eternal flames.

Sung originally in the Christian Mass for the Dead, by the 19th century, the tune symbolized not only human mortality, but the forces of evil—sometimes in serious fashion, sometimes not.

In this hour, the “Dies Irae” melody in works by Liszt, Berlioz, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, and many more.

Title Group/Artist Catalog # UPC
The Shining Wendy Carlos BSX Records Amazon download: ASIN: B002IGRQUQ
1000 Years of Gregorian Chant Deller Consort Harmonia Mundi HMX2908165 HMX2908165
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique London Symphony, Colin Davis LSO Live LSO0007 822231100720
Liszt: Piano Concertos 1 & 2, etc. [for Totendantz] Krystian Zimerman Deutsche Grammophon D 105620 028942357129
Pictures at an Exhibition, etc [for Night on Bald Mountain] Chicago Symphony,  Fritz Reiner RCA 09026 61958 2 090266195824
Danse Macabre Philharmonia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit Decca 425 021-2 028942502123
Dmitri Bashkirov : Brahms [for Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 6]  Dmitri Bashkirov Harmonia Mundi HMC 5167 [no UPC]ASIN: B001DIFGD4
Rhapsody on A Theme Of Paganini, etc. Artur Rubenstein, Chicago Symphony, Fritz Reiner RCA Victor 09026-68886-2 090266888627
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: 24 Caprichos de Goya, 24 Caprichos de Goya, track 24 Naxos  8.572252-53 0747313225279
Khachaturian: Symphony No. 2 in E Minor  USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Aram Khachaturian Melodya CD 10 01706 4600317117062
Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero Naxos 8.559635 636943963524



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