Tone Poem Tuesday

My October tradition in this series is to feature works of music that are dark, or macabre, or outright tinged with terror. This one is a melancholy meditation, a brooding work on the journey to death. Here is Sergei Rachmaninov’s epic tone poem, The Isle of the Dead. The work pulses and rocks with the uneasy waves, but as the work progresses, a sad lyricism takes over, and the whole work is punctuated by quotes from the Dies irae, the death-chant that Rachmaninov found uniquely compelling and quoted in a number of his works.

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