Music Favorites VIII - Camille Saint-SaŽns' Danse Macabre
Saint-Saëns was a French composer and organist known primarily for three pieces - The Carnival of the Animals (which he refused to have published during his lifetime for fear of tarnishing his public image), his first Cello Concerto, and this piece - which is arguably Saint-Saëns' most famous composition, having been transcribed and adapted extensively. The opening twelve notes on the harp represent midnight chimes, the xylophone represents rattling bones, and the "devil's chord" - the diminished fifth interval on solo violin - represent the summoning of the dead from their graves.
Some consider the piece creepy, but I've always thought of it as fun. For truly terrifying music, there are a number of candidates - Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, Giacinto Scelsi's Uaxuctum, Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Iannis Xenakis' Bohor, or Ivan Wyschnegradsky's twelfth-tone, six-piano Arc en ciel.