Ever since high school I have enjoyed listening to the colorful Russian music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. His Oriental themed symphonic suite, Scheherazade, has four movements:

1. The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship
2. The Kalendar Prince
3. The Young Princess and the Young Princess
4. The Festival at Baghdad. The Sea. The Ship Goes to Pieces on a Rock Surmounted by a Bronze Warrior

Rimsky-Korsakov’s brief introduction to the piece:
The Sultan Schariar, convinced that all women are false and faithless, vowed to put to death each of his wives after the first nuptial night. But the Sultana Sheherazade saved her life by entertaining her lord with fascinating tales, told seriatim, for a thousand and one nights. The Sultan, consumed with curiosity, postponed from day to day the execution of his wife, and finally repudiated his bloody vow entirely.

Here is the beginning of Scheherazade . The massive sounding notes heard at the beginning of Scheherazade represent the Sultan and then comes the enchanting and sensuous violin solo- Scheherazade (almost a minute into the piece).  She’ll entice you!!

From the liner notes of the my Seraphim CD:

“The music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is, in the orchestra, what Technicolor and Dolby stereo sound are in the movies – more of everything that delights the senses.”

I recommend buying a CD of Scheherazade and listening to the entire suite. Buy a disc that also contains Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture. На здоровье! (To our health!)

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