- Overture (9:57)
- On Horseback to the House of Usher (the Whole Dark Autumn Day) (5:15)
- The Approach and Inside the Mansion (5:16)
- Scherzo – the Haunted Palace Part 1 (8:47)
- The Lush Green Valleys of the Years Past
- The Palace in 1770
- Robert and Madeline – Love Theme (5:50)
- Down to the Catacombs to See the Ushers (5:36)
- Dance – (Tempo Di Valse) the Haunted Palace Part 2 (A Masked Ball) (6:19)
- Roderick’s Final Confrontation with Robert and Madeline and Robert’s Search for Madeline (3:20)
- The Immolation Scene and the Fall of the House. Robert and Madeline Find Each Other Again and Escape (7:53)
In the autumn of the year 1839, Robert Winthrop, the visitor, travels on horseback and approaches the House Usher; he was forewarned by the appearance of the old mansion. The fall weather was dull and dreary, the countryside shady and gloomy and the old house seemed to fit perfectly into the desolate surroundings. The windows looked like vacant eyes staring over the bleak landscape. A true sense of awe and foreboding. Robert had come to the House of Usher in response to a plea from his fiancée, Lady Madeline Usher. The letter of an illness of body and mind suffered filled him what dread and overwhelming desire that he must go to his love.
Robert then entered the house, gave his things to the servant and proceeded through several dark passages to the study of the master, Roderick Usher. All in all he was a depressing figure of a madman. In manner, he was even more morbid and afflicted with great sensitivity and great fear. After Robert’s arrival, he explored the house extensively and discovers the history and secrets of this haunted place. The haunted palace movements four and seven take us back in time to see visions of another world and another time. The years 1770(The Haunted Palace, part one) and 1792(The Haunted Palace, part two). We see the mansion in the glorious days of light and splendor. A grand ballroom, the lush green valleys, the beautiful landscape and pond surrounding the house before the darkness came and cursed the area.
Meanwhile, Robert and Madeline continue their strong love relationship in this house of horror. One day she takes him down to the catacombs-a subterranean cemetery of galleries where the deceased Ushers remain. She shows him all the tombs of the Ushers and after explaining to Robert about the family curse and her illness she suddenly faints and becomes seriously ill. He quickly takes her upstairs to her bedroom where she dies few hours later. It was Usher’s intention to bury her in one of the vaults under the house for a period of two weeks. The strangeness of her malady, he said, demanded the precaution of not placing her immediately in the exposed family burial plot. The men took the unconfined body into the burial vault beneath the house and deposited it upon a trestle. Turning back the lid of the coffin, they took one last look at the lady. The man then closed the lid securely and ascended to the upper rooms.
The next night, during a severe storm, Robert heard low and unrecognizable sounds that filled him with terror. He began to pace the floor of his room when he heard a soft knock at his door. Usher entered, carrying a lamp. His manner was hysterical and his eyes those of a madman. He muttered at first but spoke louder and louder until he reached a scream. Madeline is alive! He said. I buried her alive! He now revealed the truth to Robert that he buried her alive during a cataleptic spell and to free her from this family curse. Robert then storms out of the room in a desperate search for her. Now a door from the downstairs swung back and on the threshold stood the shrouded lady Madeline Usher. There was a blood on her clothing and evidence of superhuman struggle. She ran to her terrified brother and as they fight and struggle a lamp falls to the floor and a massive fire starts. Usher dies in the fire.
Robert and Madeline fled from the house of terror. They gaze back as they ran and saw the burning Palace. They embrace and watch the fire and destruction of the House of Usher…
-Shirley Beckwith, London, 2003
United Media Productions, Ltd.
A Gothic-Darkwoods Production
The Fall of the House of Usher
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s American Classic Short Story
Recorded at UMP, Studios, April, 2003, Chicago, USA
Assistant Recording Engineer:
Photography and Graphic Design:
Creative Design Consultant:
Peter R. Rosenthal
Printing and Layout by Chicago Print:
Peter Polis, Merta Mendez
CD Titles by Clyde Battón
Liner Note Editor:
Shirley Beckwith & Steven Marlow
Digital Recording Equipment by Sony
Special Thanks to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
©2003 United Media Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.