℗ © 2013 Countdown Media GmbH
SYMPHONIC SUITE after “THE
THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT,” Op. 35
SIR EUGENE GOOSSENS conducting
the London Symphony Orchestra
HUGH MAGUIRE, solo violin
Few works in the entire literature of orchestral music can match Scheherazade for brilliance, appeal or vividness of instrumental coloring. But then, few composers have possessed the wizardry to orchestrate music as did Rimsky-Korsakov. And until now, it has been difficult to reproduce the full spectrum of the composer’s palette on records. Thanks to Everest’s advanced recording techniques on 35 mm magnetic film, every subtle oriental shading, every overtone of this sumptuous symphonic suite can be enjoyed with startling realism in the home.
Actually, Rimsky-Korsakov learned the art of orchestration relatively late in life. At the start of his career, music played a secondary role, for he started out as a naval officer. It was only at the insistence of the composer Mily Balakirev that he accepted a professorship of composition and orchestration at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. There at first he learned more from his pupils than they from him. Meanwhile, the Navy appointed Rimsky-Korsakov Inspector of Naval Bands. The combination of these two positions, plus a great deal of study of counterpoint, composition and orchestration, succeeded in giving him the technical equipment to support his already inventive intuitive musical ideas.
Rimsky Korsakov composed Scheherazade during the summer of 1888, completing it early in August. It was first performed the following winter at the Russian Symphony Concerts in St. Petersburg.
Considering the opulence and infinite variety of sounds produced in this symphonic suite, the instrumental requirements of the score are relatively modest. They are: two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, kettledrums, bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, tamtam, harp and strings. The work bears a dedication to the critic, Vladimir Stassov.”
From the original Liner Notes by PAUL AFFELDER.