Which pieces do you really have to hear? Those that are still played over a hundred years after they were written? The ones which receive only praise? Or is it precisely the ones that are rather controversial?
In the case of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, the answer is all of the above. The piece deserves to be one of his most popular ones: tempting violin solos, compelling drama, huge climaxes alternated with intimate moments – Scheherazade is like a book that is so good you simply have to finish it in one setting.
One Thousand and One Nights inspired Scheherazade. But the piece’s performances should come with a caveat. The enormous interest for the Middle-East and East Asia towards the end of the nineteenth century resulted in artistic impressions which, despite their intentions, reflected nothing of the cultures that inspired them. And Scheherazade is no exception.
Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune | Rimski-Korsakov Sheherazade
Residentie Orchestra | Anja Bihlmaier conductor | Yeol Eum Son piano