Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bargain Ebooks: Two Titles

Entwined by Heather Dixon has dropped temporarily to $.99 in ebook format. This has been discounted before but was back up to $7.99 or $9.99 (I don't remember) for the last several months.

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

And while we are here, there is a free book which features the Grim Reaper as a character. Since some day I will release a collection of Grateful Dead tales, this one is of interest to me.

Embrace the Grim Reaper: A Grim Reaper Mystery (Grim Reaper Series) by Judy Clemens.

Casey Maldonado’s life is over—at least as she knows it. In one brief moment of fire and wrenching metal, everything important was gone. The car manufacturer was generous with its settlement, but it can never be enough. Her family and friends—not to mention her lawyers—want her to go for more. More money. More publicity. More everything. But Casey is done. No financial gain or courtroom retribution will bring back what really matters. So she packs up, puts her house on the market, and leaves town. Her only companion: Death, who won’t take her, but won’t leave her alone.

She stops on a whim in tragedy-stricken Clymer, a small blue-collar town in the midst of Ohio farmland. Not only is HomeMaker, the town’s appliance factory and main employer, moving to Mexico, but the town has been rocked by the suicide of a beloved single mother.

Casey is drawn to the town, and soon realizes that many of the citizens don’t believe the verdict of suicide at all. Death encourages her to investigate, and she uncovers information that points to the factory. Was the victim’s death a cover-up? Did she truly have the means—as she claimed—to keep the factory from leaving town?

When Casey begins to receive messages that she should leave well enough alone, she decides she’d be better off back on the road, but the murderer can’t let her go with everything she knows….

Monday, December 19, 2011

Infernal Violins, Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns and Death!

Ever since we watched episode 5 of Grimm on NBC, "Danse Macabre," the music has been echoing through John's head. He has a strong knowledge of classical, mostly from tuba playing, but didn't know much about this one, so I went researching to see if his educated guesses were correct--he predicted the decade of composition and country of origin (although the name strongly hints at that one). Fun husband! It's a common roadtrip game with us--I can pick almost anything on my 80GB iPod and see how long it takes for him to identify it.

First of all, I already had two versions on my iTunes which lead us to reexploring a fascinating collection I have, Infernal Violins by Angele Dubeau & La Pieta. Highly recommended and not at all December holiday spirited, but if you, too, have Danse Macabre haunting you, check this out. Yes, it's a collection of music inspired by the Devil. But it's not nearly as "evil" as that sounds, after all, most of these are folklore devils which tend to be much more sympathetic and the equivalent of "Death" than many religious outright evil ones. And the music is invigorating but not as dark as one would guess--not Wagnerian as one would assume, that is. Most of it is straight classical although there is a fun classical mash-up of Paint It Black and Sympathy for the Devil on it, too.

Anyway, courtesy of Wikipedia, some highlights about Danse Macabre, too:

Danse macabre, Op. 40, is a tone poem for orchestra, written in 1874 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin.

According to legend, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death calls forth the dead from their graves to dance their dance of death for him while he plays his fiddle (here represented by a solo violin). His skeletons dance for him until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.

And the vocal lines, translated into English:

Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,
Striking a tomb with his heel,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zag, on his violin.
The winter wind blows, and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden trees.
White skeletons pass through the gloom,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking,
You can hear the cracking of the bones of the dancers.
A lustful couple sits on the moss
So as to taste long lost delights.
Zig zig, zig, Death continues
The unending scraping on his instrument.
A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked.
Her partner grasps her amorously.
The lady, it's said, is a marchioness or baroness
And her green gallant, a poor cartwright.
Horror! Look how she gives herself to him,
Like the rustic was a baron.
Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband!
They all hold hands and dance in circles.
Zig, zig, zag. You can see in the crowd
The king dancing among the peasants.
But hist! All of a sudden, they leave the dance,
They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.
Oh what a beautiful night for the poor world!
Long live death and equality!

And, so, some Death inspired music for this December Monday! Thanks, Grimm!