On Halloween Night

On Halloween Night is an orchestral suite in five short movements in which each movement evokes a fantastical creature traditionally associated with the celebration of Halloween. The work is freely inspired by children’s drawings of each creature, to better evoke, and even transcend them.

I – Flight of the Witch
Riding on her broomstick, the witch and her black cat fly over the countryside searching for a new victim to boil in her cauldron. The piece opens with the sounds of the flexatone, evoking the witch’s piercing laughter. Next, the violins play a mischievous high-pitched melody while the brass play a somber low-register melody, thus representing the witch’s two sides.

II – March of the Zombies
Menacing sounds are heard off in the distance. It’s the zombies! They’re getting closer and closer and will bite all those on their path. Their march becomes more and more imposing as their victims join their ranks. In the same way, the instruments progressively join together to produce a big crescendo of intensity.

III – Metamorphosis of the Werewolf
Afflicted by the full moon, a man transforms into a werewolf. His mouth changes to a muzzle, his ears get longer, his arms and legs become paws, and thick fur covers his body. Similarly, suspenseful music gradually transforms into agitated and menacing music, like a wolf in search of its prey. Throughout the movement, the brass play glissandi, like a wolf howling at the moon. Nothing is safe from the beast, except a hunter with a rifle and a silver bullet.

IV – Ghosts of the Manor
Mysterious murmurs fill the abandoned old manor. All the ghosts of former residents have planned to meet for a grand ball. They waltz to the sound of the orchestra.

V – Attack of the Skeletons!
In the cemetery, the skeletons emerge from the tombs. They invade the village and instill terror in the villagers. Fast and contrasting music, featuring a frenetic xylophone, evokes the skeletons in their nocturnal assault.

Instrumentation:
– Version for symphonic orchestra: 2.2.2.2 / 4.2.3.1 / hrp / timp+2 / strings
– Version for classical orchestra: 2.2.2.2 / 2.2.0.0 / pno / timp-perc / strings
– Version for wind orchestra: 2fl, 2ob, 2bsn, 3cl, 1cl-b / 2sax-a, 1sax-t, 1sax-b / 4hrn, 3trp, 2tbn-t, 1tbn-b, 1eup, 1tuba / hrp, pno / timp / 3perc (arr. YannBail)

Duration: 11 minutes

Suggested program:
– Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre
– Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
– Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
– Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Commissioned by the Orchestre métropolitain.

Premiere: October 30st, 2014, by the Orchestre Métropolitain and the conductor Jean-Michel Malouf, at the Théâtre Outremont, in Montreal.

Performances of On Halloween Night

2023, Nov. 11 | Orchestre d’harmonie de Clermont-Ferrand, Guillaume Cardot | Opéra-Théâtre de Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand, France
2023, Oct. 29 | National Arts Center Orchestra, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser | National Arts Center, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2023, Mar. 5 | Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra, James Park | Slocomb Auditorium, Pasadena, TX, United States

2022, Oct. 30 | Toledo Symphony, Alain Trudel | Valentine Theatre, Toledo, OH, United States
2022, Oct. 30 | Regina Symphony OrchestraLucas Waldin | University Theatre, Regina, SK, Canada
2022, Oct. 30 | Ensemble vent et percussion de Québec, René Joly | Salle Henri-Gagnon du Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault de l’Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada
2022, Oct. 29 | Ensemble vent et percussion de Québec, René Joly | Salle Henri-Gagnon du Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault de l’Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada
2022, Oct. 25 | Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra, Kevin Baker | Richardson Auditorium, Jefferson, MO, United States
2022, Oct. 15 | Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser | Centre In The Square, Kitchener, ON, Canada

2021, Oct. 30 | Detroit Symphony OrchestraKelly Corcoran | Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, MI, United States
2021, Oct. 21 | Toledo Symphony, Steven Reineke | Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Toledo, Ohio, United States

2020, Oct. 25 to Nov. 14 | Orchestre Symphonique de LavalAlain Trudel | Concert en ligne
2020, Oct. 25 | Toledo SymphonyAlain Trudel | Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, Toledo, OH, United States

2019, Nov. 3 | Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-JeanNicolas Ellis | Théatre Banque Nationale, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada
2019, Nov. 2 | Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-JeanNicolas Ellis | Salle Michel-Côté, Alma, QC, Canada
2019, Oct. 27 | Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser | Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada
2019, Oct. 27 | Toledo SymphonySteven Jarvi | Valentine Theatre, Toledo, OH, United States
2019, Apr. 14 | Harmonie de Luzy, Yann Bail | Église de Savigny-Poil-Fol, Luzy, France
2019, Apr. 13 | Harmonie de Luzy, Yann Bail | Salle des fêtes Marcel Joyeux, Luzy, France

2018, Oct. 28 | Toledo SymphonyAlain Trudel | Valentine Theatre, Toledo, OH, États-Unis
2018, Oct. 28 | Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Melissa Biroun | 1250 Balmoral St, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2018, Oct. 28 | Hamilton Philharmonic OrchestraDaniel Bartholomew-Poyser | McIntyre Theatre at Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
2018, Oct. 27 | Kamloops SymphonyDina Gilbert | Sagebrush Theatre, Kamloops, BC, Canada
2018, Oct. 26 | Kamloops SymphonyDina Gilbert | Sagebrush Theatre, Kamloops, BC, Canada
2018, Oct. 25 | Kamloops SymphonyDina Gilbert | Sagebrush Theatre, Kamloops, BC, Canada

2017, Oct 29 | Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rivard | Grassroots Church, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2017, Oct 28 | Stratford Symphony OrchestraMélanie Léonard | Avondale United Church, ON, Canada
2017, Oct 15 | Houston Symphony, Lucas Waldin | Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, TX, United States
2017, Oct 13 | Houston Symphony, Lucas Waldin | Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, TX, United States

2016, Oct 30 | Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Jean-Michel Malouf | Grassroots Church, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2016, Oct 22 | Toronto Symphony OrchestraLucas Waldin | Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada
2016, Oct 20 | Toronto Symphony OrchestraLucas Waldin | Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada
2016, Oct 19 | Toronto Symphony OrchestraLucas Waldin | Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada
2016, Oct 18 | Toronto Symphony OrchestraLucas Waldin | Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada
2016, Feb. 28 | Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Roberto De Clara | St. Matthew’s Church, Oakville, ON, Canada

2015, Nov. 8 | Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Roberto De Clara | Oakville, ON, Canada
2015, Nov. 7 | Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Roberto De Clara | Oakville, ON, Canada

2014, Oct  31 | Orchestre métropolitain, Jean-Michel Malouf | Théâtre Outremont, Montreal (2 concerts), Montréal QC, Canada
2014, Oct. 30 | Orchestre métropolitain, Jean-Michel Malouf | Théâtre Outremont, Montreal (premiere), Montréal QC, Canada

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