Title: The Isle of Dead
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff
1973 – 1943
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a pianist, composer and conductor. His works are among the most popular of the Romantic era. Rachmaninoff started to play the piano at 4 years old and graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892. In 1918 after the Russian Revolution the Rachmaninoff family left Russia and settled in the USA. In 1843, just one month before his death, Rachmaninoff was granted US citizenship.
The Isle of the Dead is a symphonic poem, written in A minor, inspired by a black and white reproduction of a painting by Arnold Bocklin. The piece begins with the recurring 5/8-time theme that depicts the movement of water. Rachmaninoff uses this theme throughout the piece and with the allusion of death, he creates a holistic and reflective image of how life and death are interconnected.