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Truly spooky music for Halloween, courtesy of Schubert and Fischer-Dieskau
Truly spooky music for Halloween, courtesy of Schubert and Fischer-Dieskau

For chilling Halloween music, it's still hard to beat a Franz Schubert song from 1815 -- "Der Erlkonig" ("The Erl-King"). The text by Goethe is spooky enough, telling of a father's frenzied ride on horseback through a windy night, bearing his son, who sees a strange figure in the dark beckoning him. Schubert's music, with its now indelible bogeyman base line and rapid-fire repetitions in the right, and its careful delineation of the multiple voices in the story (narrator, father, boy, Erl-King), provides the ingenious finishing touch. This performance by the late, revered baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and pianist Gerald Moore says it all. Just watch...

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