Rapturous Classical Music

The big news this past weekend was the prediction that the Rapture would take place on Saturday, at 6:00pm local time. For those not fully up on Christian theology, the Rapture is when God gathers the elect up from earth to spare them the tribulations that are to come. For some, this is the sign that the Apocalypse is about to start.

One of the more interesting threads on Twitter bore the hashtag #apocalypsemusic. It was a series of suggestions for music appropriate to the event. For a while, the thread was hijacked by classical music folks, and several suggestions — both obvious and subtle — made their way into the conversation. (Some blogs also took up the task and made some good suggestions – see Miss Music Nerd’s column for example).

So what would be appropriate classical music for the Rapture and the coming Apocalypse? Here are some of the best suggestions from the postings. What would you add?

Richard Wagner – Götterdämmerung(of course)

Hector Berlioz – “Dies Irae” from the “Symphonie Fantastique” (“Dies Irae” means “Day of Wrath, and is part of the Latin funeral mass that references the Judgement Day. Most any Dies Irae from any Requiem would probably work, too.)

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Franz Schmidt: Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (The Book of the Seven Seals) (an oratorio based on a key part of Revelation)

Ludwig van Beethoven – “Les Adieux”

And I had a few suggestions myself:

Franz Schubert: Abschied from Schwanengesang (The Swan Song)

Leos Janacek: The Diary of One Who Disappeared

Edward Elgar: Dream of Gerontius (tracks the journey of the soul after death)

Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony (Symphony No. 45) (If you prefer to leave quietly rather than with a bang)

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Toward the Unknown Region” (Everyone was ready to leave Saturday, but to go where?)

Charles Hubert Parry: Symphony No. 1 “From Death to Life” (Which is how Christians view death)

I understand the event’s been rescheduled for October 21. So there’s plenty of time to send in your suggestions. Maybe we’ll have a special show that day…

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