Rimski-Korsakoff - Fritz Reiner - Scheherazade

: Unavailable

: Reel-To-Reel, 15 ips, ¼", 2-Track Stereo Tape

: Analogue Productions

Regular price £450.00

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was born in Russia in 1844. As a child, he often visited an opera with his parents. It was...


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Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was born in Russia in 1844. As a child, he often visited an opera with his parents. It was here that his love of combining music with stories began. At home, he sat down at the piano and played the melodies he heard. His male ancestors were in the Navy, which led Rimsky-Korsakov to take this step as well. On his travels, he got to know distant countries and foreign music. He especially liked the oriental music from Turkey and Persia, as well as the stories from the Thousand and One Nights, which prompted him to incorporate them into his works with the melodies he had in mind.

Scheherazade was the daughter of a government official of the Persian king Shahryâr, who was betrayed by his wife with a slave of a different skin colour, which was a particularly shameful offence in his eyes. Convinced that there was no faithful woman on earth, Shahryâr resolved never again to be deceived by a woman. Therefore, he married a new woman every day, whom he had killed the next morning. In order to put an end to this, Scheherazade had her father give her to the king as a wife. On the first night, she began to tell the king a story, the plot of which was interrupted the next morning. Curious about the end of the story, King Shahryâr let her live. This kind of storytelling went on for 1001 nights, during which Scheherazade gave birth to three children. In the end, King Shahryâr was convinced of his wife's fidelity and so impressed by her wisdom that he let her live.

In 1888 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed his tone poem Scheherazade. The suite consists of four movements. At first, the movements were given programmatic titles, but later the composer replaced them with tempo names. For a better understanding of the music, I have retained the programmatic titles (in brackets).


  1. Largo e maestoso - Allegro non troppo (The Sea and Sinbad's Ship)

  2. Lento - Andantino - Allegro Molto - con moto (The story of Prince Calendar)

  3. Andantino quasi allegretto - Pochissimo più mosso - Come prima - Pochissimo più animato (The young prince and the young princess)

  4. Allegro molto - Vivo - Allegro non troppo maestoso (Celebration in Baghdad. The sea. The ship crashes on a cliff under a bronze horseman).

The first movement begins with an announcement: clear, loud, expressive. It stands for the tyrannical sultan. What a debut for this tape! Then the delicate violin, the voice of Scheherazade, in every expression classily played by the US-American exceptional performer Sidney Harth (1925 - 2011). In the first movement, we hear the theme, the narrator's portrayal of Scheherazade, which will recur throughout the piece.

How fortunate that the sound engineers in 1960 did everything right and used their technology to the fullest to create this fabulous sound document! Fritz Reiner, one of the great conductors of his time, led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to a highly performative performance. He is said to have a precision-obsessed and irascible temperament, which is why he was feared by the musicians. He is most famous for his engagement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which he led from 1953-1963, before dying of a heart attack.

The symphonic poem builds the bridge, popular at that time, between relaxed oriental sounds and the typical Russian style of composition with its enigmatic austerity. It is precisely this interplay that creates the tension that carries me as a listener tensely from one movement to the next.


In today's time of political tensions between the East, the Middle East and the West, Scheherazade acts as an exemplary link of international understanding on a musical level. Far away from reservations, skin colours, religions or origins, this music connects cultures in a captivating form and quality. A walk through the stories of 1001 nights with a great composition and an excellent recording! The fairy tales are as timeless as this music! Let yourself be enchanted!

Source Scheherezade: Wikipedia

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Rimski-Korsakoff - Fritz Reiner - Scheherazade

Regular price £450.00