links for 2009-05-29

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the finest composers in a renown group of Russian Nationalists that included Mussorgsky and Borodin. Yet you rarely hear any of his composition in our century. You can find some very old and out-of-print recording for a few of his operas here. However the symphonic poem Scheherazade gets some play by the modern orchestras. It is a beautiful piece of program music that still sees an occasional performance. The work was composed in 1888 and is based on One Thousand and One Nights. It is a superb example of the composer’s singular talent in orchestration, being a virtual feast for the ears in all of its four movements. It is also a good example of Orientalism; the fascination with the Far East that was prevalent in Europe at the time. This classic performance is from 1939 and has Artur Rodzinski conducting The Cleveland Orchestra. The solo violinist is Joseph Fuchs.
  • (tags: free music jazz)
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