Aarvo Part's Fratres. I have the I Fiamminghi version on Telarc. Excellent music!
Pachebel's Canon and Hubay's Hejri Kati.
Martinu: Memorial to Lidice
Gorecki: Symphony #3 (Zinman conducting)
Bryars: Sinking of the Titanic
Try Danny Elfman much of his work, Prokofiev Romeo & Juliette, Mahler much of his work, Mozart Requiem, Don Giovanni, Wagner much of his work, Verdi Chorus of Hebrew Slaves ...too works to many to list here
Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"
Carl Nielsen Symphony No. 5
Jean Sibelius Sym. #4 - used in the movie "Alien"
Igor Stravinsky "Rite of Spring"
Hector Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique"
I love the haunting/dark kind of classical music myself...
Mendelssohn "Overture "The Hebrides" (Fingal's Cave) Op.26
Rachmaninoff "Isle Of The Dead"
Check out Hovhaness-Symphony No. 2 ("Mysterious Mountain") and Gorecki-Symphony No. 3. Both are dark and Hovhaness in particular reminds me of Vaughan Williams. Enjoy the music.
A little off the beaten path and more recent than those already mentioned; Silvestrov(sp?) from the Ukraine. Dark and brooding but not as "thick" as above mentioned romantics. I believe there are at least 3-4 CDs available.
Try Shostakovich for dark and haunting sound.
"Quartet For The End Of Time"
Its inspiration, alone, meets your interest. The music even more.
Mussorgsky - Pictures At An Exhibition
- Night On Bald Mountain
All over the map here. Dark and haunting are not terms I would use to describe the Barber piece, which is one of the most-mentioned pieces in the thread "Most achingly beautiful music." Lwatson, can you expand on your meaning?
Quartet for the end of time is a great suggestion. The Brahms Clarinet Quintet might float your boat as well.
You might try this CD (Greif: Sonate de Requiem, etc / Bertrand, Amoyel, Weithaas). I have it and I need to be in a very special mood to listen to it. Shostakovich as well as Prokofiev are also capable of some very dark melodies.
A few of my favorites.
Elgar's Cello Concerto would be similar in mood to Barber's Adagio and is every bit as good IMHO, well almost. You might also like Barbers Violin Concerto.
I would also vote for Sibelius' Sym #4. For something a little different try Death and Transfiguration by Strauss. It is elevating and beautiful.
Bartók, Concerto, Fischer Iván, BFZ, Philips or Reiner on Living Stereo,
Liszt Faust, Fischer Iván, BFZ Philips
Shostakovich Symphony no 5, 6, 10, 14,
Mahler symphony no. 2, Fischer Iván, BFZ Channel, Klemperer, EMI,
richard strauss' "four last songs" (esp. w/Jessye Norman! or Elizabeth Schwartzkopf).
Your wanting something "haunting/dark classical" is met completely with the following cd: Gidon Kremer, Hommage a Pizaaolla, Nonesuch 79407-2. For others also reading this thread and after listening to this cd, kindly comment and I believe you will find it as a great discovery, and while some might say it does not fit into the classical genre, I believe you will have a changed mind after listening. When I discovered the cd, I immediately attached the label of haunting to it.
I never would have suggested Chopin to someone looking for haunting and dark melodies. But as a classical pianist who plays a fair amount of Chopin; I agree with you. This is especially true of his minor scale Nocturnes. My first thoughts turned to contemporary composers.
Myraj didn't mean Chopin, it was Chop in, as in Chop in half with a chain saw, now that is dark and haunting!
Here's a short list of mostly 20th Century "Dark" works.
Shostakovich 14th Symphony: Dont listen to this if feeling suicidal.
Schubert Piano sonata in A, D959. He knew he was dying when he wrote this. The slow movement laments the inevitable and is in parts angry. Powerful.
Allan Pettersons 8th Symphony: Petterson suffered through out his life and it shows in his music. The 6th is also worthy to be on this list.
Birtwistle: Triumph of Time
Gerhard: The Plague
These next three were all written in the late 30s as the cloud of war were gathering over Europe. Its interesting how each differently handles the subject matter.
Hartmann: Concerto Funebre
Martinu: Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano & Timpani
Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste
Mozart - Piano Concerto #20 in D minor K.466
Brahms - A German Requiem Op.45
Tchaikovsky - Marche Slave Op.31
Liszt - Totentanz for piano and orchestra
Prokofiev - Scythian Suite Op.20
Mahler - Symphony #9
Shostakovich - String Quartet #8 Op.110
A good sampler. All of the compositions are "standard repertoire" and recordings are readily available.
I Second Gorecki Symphony #3
Try Also Tchaikovsky Symphony #6 and Shostakovich #7 & #8
I'm very fond of most of what's been recommended and applaud the others for their thoughtful responses. I would like to recommend a piece that won't qualify as Classical music in the usual sense but it is orchestral and most definitely describes what you're are looking for: the sound track of "The DaVinci Code." It's extremely dramatic and dark. The recording is wonderful, too, with unusually good dynamic range and low frequency reproduction.
Schubert's Unfinished Symphony #8 - Get the complete Symphonies box Frans Bruegen and the Age of Enlightment Symphony Orchestra. Mozart's final work - the Clarinet Concerto, he had alot of haunting/dark problems in his life when he wrote this work.
Haunting, dark,classical. Phillip Glass. Dracula, Low, and Heroes. Played by Kronos Quartet.
A little late to this thread, but anyway --
All the above recommendations (good ones) come from the classical, romantic or modern periods, which are the areas first explored by new classical music listeners. After you get acclimated, consider dipping your toe into the baroque and renaissance periods, where vocal music is more common. From the baroque, Purcell's "Dido's Lament" from his short opera Dido and Aneas. From the renaissance, the madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo, whose dark and haunting life is reflected in his music.
The Gidon Kremer is an outstanding piece of work. I bought it based on this discussion. It has quickly become a favorite.
For something alittle different try:
Tavner - The protecting Veil
Peteris Vasks - Distant Light
Sanctuary - Suite for organ, cello, bass clarinet, and strings
litzt piano sonata #2 and some of bach's organ music,#565 comes to mind.