The Isle of Dead


Title: The Isle of Dead
Date: 1908
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Movement: Romantic
1973 – 1943

Sergei Rachmaninoff

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.

Isle of the Dead by Arnold Bocklin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s