Caplet: The Masque of the Red Death
The harp isn't usually associated with fear and death, most often relegated to music of a "nymphs and shepherds" variety. André Caplet, who composed many of the loveliest works for harp in the repertoire, took the instrument out of its comfort zone with some incredibly ethereal, chilling music based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Mask of the Red Death. In the original tale, a prince holds a lavish masked ball, where he confronts a mysterious figure wearing a ghoulish mask and bloodstained robe. When the prince falls dead, his other guests forcibly remove the mask to reveal no solid form underneath: it is the spirit of the "Red Death" plague come to claim them all.
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