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1. Scriabin 9th Sonata, played by Horowitz (easy #1 pick) 2. Any number of shorter late Scriabin pieces, played by Horowitz 3. Chopin 1st Scherzo, played by......uh.......Horowitz (I guess I like the guy)
4. Schumann "Prophet Bird" (can't think of the German name) from Waldszenen, played by Rubinstein 5. Beethoven, slow movement of "Funeral March" Sonata (Ab major, Op. 26), played by Eric Heidsieck
Brahms, Intermezzo in B minor Op. 119 No. 1 - H. Neuhaus. One of those recordings that just won't let you go.
I agree with Mark on the Scriabin, "Black Mass" Sonata No. 9 - but my recording of choice is Sofronitzky. The terrible recording quality makes it even scarier. The first time I heard him play this piece on the Philips Great Pianists disc, I was driving and I had to pull over because I was getting so freaked out. (This is a different, live recording from 1958.)
Mozart: "Jeunehomme" Concerto No. 9 K. 271, slow movement. For my money, this is the most moving slow movement he ever wrote, but it's very stark.
There's a few chopin nocturnes but the only one that comes to mind is op 48 no.1 Shostakovich prelude and fugue op. 87 no. 4 The slow movement to Schubert's sonata D959 Rachmaninoff Elegie. And some of Liszt's late music.
Whereas eerie haunting this takes the biscuit for me; i can't listen to it without feeling ever so slightly perturbed:
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.
I agree...on the Scriabin, "Black Mass" Sonata No. 9 - but my recording of choice is Sofronitzky. The terrible recording quality makes it even scarier. The first time I heard him play this piece on the Philips Great Pianists disc, I was driving and I had to pull over because I was getting so freaked out. (This is a different, live recording from 1958.....
Are you sure this is a different recording? But anyway, there's something about this one that goes beyond 'terrible recording quality' and which I think accounts for most of that impression:
They played back the master tape at the wrong speed. (Too slow, which not only slows it down but lowers the pitch -- and you're right, it adds to the eeriness.)
I made a comment about this a while back on that YouTube page. And in fact, now that I listen closer, I see that I understated the degree of the issue. I said it's "almost a quarter tone" too low. Actually it's well over a quarter tone, and pretty close to a full half-tone.
P.S. I wonder if maybe both versions were from the same recording but this one sounds different because of the wrong playback speed.
Interesting question, and I look forward to taking the time to check out the many pieces folks have offered.
The list is incomplete however, without adding Erik Satie's Gnossiennes, particularly variants #1, #3 and the mind-blowingly deep #4 variant. Also, I find the Gymnopedie #3 most moving/haunting, though #1 is most popular.
Ah, yes -- the Scriabin Sonata No 3 -- actually, the most "haunting" music for me is the 3rd movement -- absolutely beautiful melody, and stunning shimmering accompaniment -- 4th movement is a tad long for my taste, but very successful overall. Scriabin was more successful than any other composer at re-creating the unique qualities of Frederic Chopin's output, and this is certainly a great example of that.