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Danse macabre

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    Danse macabre

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    Danse Macabre, Op. 40, is a tone poem for orchestra, written in 1874 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin.

    An English translation of the poem follows:
    Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,
    Striking a tomb with his heel,
    Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
    Zig, zig, zag, on his violin.
    The winter wind blows, and the night is dark;
    Moans are heard in the linden trees.
    White skeletons pass through the gloom,
    Running and leaping in their shrouds.
    Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking,
    You can hear the cracking of the bones of the dancers.
    A lustful couple sits on the moss
    So as to taste long lost delights.
    Zig zig, zig, Death continues
    The unending scraping on his instrument.
    A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked.
    Her partner grasps her amorously.
    The lady, it's said, is a marchioness or baroness
    And her green gallant, a poor cartwright.
    Horror! Look how she gives herself to him,
    Like the rustic was a baron.
    Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband!
    They all hold hands and dance in circles.
    Zig, zig, zag. You can see in the crowd
    The king dancing among the peasants.
    But hist! All of a sudden, they leave the dance,
    They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.
    Oh what a beautiful night for the poor world!
    Long live death and equality!
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    Images based on "Heidelberger Totentanz" from\n
    http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/totentanz1488/0039

    Tags: dance of the macabre ringtone , danse macabre

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