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What piece of music do you think best captures death?


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Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor.  I remembering first hearing this and having such a sense of foreboding, as if it were the essence of an Edgar Allen Poe story set to music.  I then later learned that it was inspired by a dream Rachmaninoff had where he was at a funeral and as he approached the coffin, he began feeling more and more terrified and anxious until he finally sees who is in it... him of course!  So my initial impression was right after all.

 

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Here are 3 pieces that I think illustrate 3 different aspects/types of death well:

Grief after death, no matter how long after the death, the pain will return

Slowly dying

Tragic death

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Strauss' Death and Transfiguration. the initial sighing figure imitating the dying man's breath is especially striking. The piece isn't overly dark to the point of caricature, like many other admittedly great pieces. It feels, to me, more realistic and human in the emotions and situations that it depicts.

And if you like it, watch this.

 

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