excerpt from 'Friends and Memories' pp. 233 (197 words)

excerpt from 'Friends and Memories' pp. 233 (197 words)

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Friends and Memories

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 I heard it [Saint-Saens’ ‘Danse Macabre’] for the first time in Paris at a Lamoureux Concert in the Champs Elysées, and I shall never forget the uncanny impression conveyed from the very outset.

 The haunted graveyard lies before one’s eyes, desolate and abandoned, with the little mortuary chapel in its midst; the cold white tombstones stand out between the grassy mounds from which presently shadowy figures will creep, at the summons of Death, the cadaverous musician, whose skeleton figure stands beneath a cypress tree tuning his instrument for the ghastly dance that is presently to follow; one literally hears the rustle of the dead leaves on the dank grass, the dreary soughing of the autumn wind through the dead branches of the naked trees, as the dreadful revel grows wilder and wilder, the music more and more unearthly. And then the sudden disappearance of the ghostly revellers whose graves once more close silently over them, the sudden shaft of light that pierces the darkness as the cock crows ! One awakes almost with a start from the musical nightmare, —one of the cleverest and most realistic pieces of music ever written.

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excerpt from 'Friends and Memories' pp. 233 (197 words)


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