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Don't Fix It

After the apocalypse, only vampires will like Rachmaninoff

I just read Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, which was, as is almost always the case when you’re not talking about Neil Gaiman, way better than the movie. Without giving anything away, the bit with the dog made me cry. If you’re not familiar with the plot, the basic premise is that the entire human population has been taken down by some sort of plague that has more or less turned them into vampires; one man, Robert Neville, remains fully human.

It’s essentially well-written survival horror, which may or may not be your thing, but what I find interesting is that throughout Neville’s post-apocalyptic, fear-driven hermit existence, he plays classical music to help — to fill the silence, to drown out the vampires calling for his blood, a balm for his psychological wounds. He plays Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night, Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe.

And then one day he comes across another person, a woman named Ruth. Maybe she’s infected too, but she’s alive, so he takes her in and they talk and listen to Schubert’s fourth symphony.

The music ended. She got up and he watched her while she looked through his records…. “May I play this?” she asked, holding up an album.

He didn’t even look at it. “If you like,” he said.

She sat down as Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto began. Her taste isn’t remarkably advanced, he thought, looking at her without expression.

I have nothing to add to this except: bahahahaha.

What music would you take with you in the vampire apocalypse?

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About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “After the apocalypse, only vampires will like Rachmaninoff

  1. Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead. An obvious choice, yet many are not familiar with it. It’s haunting, but not depressing.

    Posted by Michael | July 6, 2011, 8:07 am

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