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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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  • 2 weeks later...

Henry Purcel- lament, It has a nice orchestral transcription: 

tchaikovsky- elegy for strings; a dramatic introduction, lyrical main theme and a tragic middle part (3:00)


vivaldi rv 447-2 introduction part 



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  • 8 months later...

Mahler, Symphony No. 10, in particular movement 5.

m.337, or 1:12:00 exactly in the below recording, is pure catharsis, but given the context, the relief you feel is a very tragic relief. At least for me, I get the sense that the entire fifth movement is just someone dying, and this moment of release is when they finally come to terms with it.


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