Exotic Sheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov on the Next Symphony @ 7

Jul 23, 2015

Exotic music by Rimsky-Korsakov and a rare Debussy composition are in store for the next Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101.  Thursday evening at 7, I'll have Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky Korsavov's orchestral masterpiece, the symphonic suite Sheherazade, and Claude Debussy's Rapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra.

Sheherazade is a dazzling 45 minute orchestral suite from 1888 based on the tales of the Thousand and One Nights and features the composer's almost magical control over  the soundscape with its lush tone colors,  exotic atmosphere, and at times, wonderfully romantic mood.

Sheherazade herself is represented by the solo violin, which opens and closes the work and weaves its way throughout to connect the four movements of the suite as she tells the various stories to the Sultan.  

Rimsky-Korsakov titled the individual sections to give a general idea of a series of tales progressing: "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship," "The Story of the Kalendar Prince," The Young Prince and the Princess." The final section is further divided into: "Festival at Baghdad," "The Sea," "Shipwreck," and "Conclusion."

Debussy's Rapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra remained unpublished and unperformed during the composer's lifetime.  It was commissioned by America's first classical saxophonist, a Boston woman named Mrs. Eliot Hall.  Debussy heard her play in Paris and accepted a commission, which he finally delivered some seven or eight years later.  She never got around to playing it, but it did get its first public performance in Paris in May of 1919, a year after the composer's death.

Join me Thursday for Symphony @ 7.  The Kirov Orchestra will be conducted by Valery Gergiev for Sheherazade, and the New York Philharmonic with saxophone soloist Kenenth Radnofsky with Kurt Masur conducting for the Debussy Rapsodie