Rachmaninov - The Isle of the Dead

(excerpt)

 
 

Rachmaninov’s symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead was inspired by Böcklin’s painting of an oarsman (probably Charon) ferrying departed souls to the island, representing Hades.  Rich and sonorous in texture and orchestration, the 5/8 meter gives the impression of the motion of the boat as it moves toward the inevitable - the oars dipping in and out of the still water.


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BBC Concert Orchestra/Benjamin Pope