The spectral figures in the Dance of Death, the
most frightful shapes that the ablest painter ever portrayed on canvas, never presented an appearance half so ghastly.
The opening movement quite rightly emphasised the music's folklore narrative, the andante was full of veiled fantasy launched by the whispering tones of the CBSO strings, and the finale was a louche dance of death, the
pearly bass-drum obbligato grimly delivered by Andrew Herbert.
In the end Death will of course come to Tamburlaine himself, the sea of his victims no longer being sufficient to sate the grim reaper, and he too must perish, ambiguously saying that he, as God's "scourge" "must die" He thus necessarily will take his part in the Dance of Death, the
popular iconography formerly painted in the Pardon Churchyard at St.