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Halloween Fright: Five Versions Of That Terrifying Toccata And Fugue

Many folks would call Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor the ultimate piece of scary music, thanks to any number of horror movies and pop culture moments that have used its thundering organ sounds as a kind of ghoulish shorthand. (But not always. Remember how it was used in Fantasia? The visuals were marvelous, though it wasn't quite as scary as, say, the Night on Bald Mountain segment — unless you count the conductor-as-deity narrative as inherently frightening.)

So with All Hallows' Eve later this week, we thought it would be a perfect time to look up some tricks and treats among the endless Bach arrangements on YouTube. We'll leave it to you to figure out which are the aural equivalent of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and which are the Mary Janes.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.