I’m currently a little obsessed with finding the perfect version of Saint-Saens’s Danse Macabre. Well, without actually buying some sort of album. I want to see what’s out there on the interweb. So far I have a version with only violin and piano (which is oddly staccato) and one by a cello trio (which doesn’t have enough variety of noise). There’s a version on YouTube, which you’d think I’d link to, with a description of what’s going on with every instrument and why. It’s great, full orchestra and all that, but it’s – I say again – on YouTube.
Danse Macabre, of course, feels a bit hackneyed to us these days. Years of abuse (and the kiddy self-parody of the Fossil Movement of Saint-Saens’s own Carnival of the Animals) makes it seem somewhat plinky-plonky and cutesy. But I’ve been listening, again and again, and I’m slowly working my brain away from the cliché. I think it’s great.