Banner: The symphonic suite Cantabile

Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Rach's Isle of the Dead-spooky or cooky?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,170
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Rach's Isle of the Dead-spooky or cooky?

    Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead...is this piece cool or what? Never fails to haunt me each time I listen to it. There's this one place where the "Dies Irae" theme is played in 4 different speeds at the same time. Creepy!
    Any thoughts about this late Romantic symphonic poem?
    More cowbell!
    .....-Gustav Mahler

  2. Likes SixFootScowl liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    205
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I just heard this for the first time recently both through the orchestral version and this piano duo version (which I like even better). It sounds even darker in the lower registers of the piano and seems to float like a vessel bound for death. The Rach certainly treats the "Dies irae" theme with imaginative and dramatic touches. I notice how he never completes the entire "Dies irae" theme until the very end, preferring to stop the plainchant theme in mid-cadence. It creates a yearning for resolution and Rachmaninov definitely showcases his prowess with multivalent uses of a single theme like the "Dies irae."

    So to answer the teaser question of this thread: Rach's Isle of the Dead is spooky and far from cooky.

  4. Likes SixFootScowl liked this post
  5. #3
    Member johnnyx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    53
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yes, cool and spooky. I have not heard the piano duo version, but will seek it out.
    Have a look at the painting that inspired Rach:
    http://www.stmoroky.com/reviews/gall...cklin/iotd.htm

  6. Likes SixFootScowl liked this post
  7. #4
    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Near Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    514
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have only heard the orchestral version of Rachmaninoff's »Isle of the Dead«. It's nice, very visual (in typical Rachmaninoff style) and indeed »spooky«.

    As a side note, I recommend also listening to Max Reger's symphonic poem »Die Toteninsel«, written in 1913 (four years after Rachmaninoff's version), and inspired by the same painting by the symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin but different - in some ways perhaps more "true" to the painting, if you can define such a thing. It's part of four symphonic poems on paintings by Böcklin. They are quite good.

    Böcklin painted several versions, here's one of them in a slightly bigger version (see johnnyx's link for the other versions)

  8. Likes SixFootScowl liked this post
  9. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Córdoba. Argentina
    Posts
    946
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederik Magle View Post
    I have only heard the orchestral version of Rachmaninoff's »Isle of the Dead«. It's nice, very visual (in typical Rachmaninoff style) and indeed »spooky«.

    As a side note, I recommend also listening to Max Reger's symphonic poem »Die Toteninsel«, written in 1913 (four years after Rachmaninoff's version), and inspired by the same painting by the symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin but different - in some ways perhaps more "true" to the painting, if you can define such a thing. It's part of four symphonic poems on paintings by Böcklin. They are quite good.

    Böcklin painted several versions, here's one of them in a slightly bigger version (see johnnyx's link for the other versions)
    I think Rachmaninov originally saw a black and white version of the work by Böcklin. When he had the chance to see the colour one, he was dissapointed with it; saying something it had way too much light.

  10. #6
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Next to Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    14,201
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Isle of the dead was one of those works that I heard on the Radio and ran out and picked up an LP (~1980). Have not listened to it in years, so it is time I gave it another listen.



    Resurrected after 10.5 years! Kind of like it was a dead thread.
    Last edited by SixFootScowl; Nov-13-2017 at 05:43.
    "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

  11. Likes Pugg liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •