Saturday, November 24, 2018

Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (1992)

Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Orchestre symphonique de Montréal) perform Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” opus 35, with Charles Dutoit at the podium, conducting in Tokyo, Japan, on April 11, 1992. During the winter of 1887,  Wikipedia notes, “Rimsky-Korsakov decided to compose an orchestral piece based on pictures from One Thousand and One Nights as well as separate and unconnected episodes.” He completed it in the summer of 1888; it premiered in St. Petersburg on November 3 of that year, with the composer himself conducting. In a piece for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Richard Freed writes about this musical period in which drama and descriptive power drew in the listener: “The year in which Rimsky completed Scheherazade was the very year in which the young Richard Strauss completed the first of his great tone poems, Don Juan, and Gustav Mahler completed the score of his First Symphony. Strauss and Mahler, of course, knew a thing or two about exploiting the orchestra to paint a picture of tell a story, and Strauss even brought out his own edition of Berlioz's book on orchestration, but the Russians and the French were drawn to two particular sources of tales to be told that provided very conspicuous opportunities for new degrees of exploration in the world of orchestral color: fairy tales and legends in general, and more particularly tales from exotic cultures, distant in both time and place.”
Via: Youtube

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