She was the woman who spun her own fate from the threads of narrative: Scheherazade, the star and storyteller ofOne Thousand and One Nights.
She famously escaped death by drawing her executioner further and
further into the tale. It’s a trait Russian composer Nikolai
Rimsky-Korsakov would employ in the symphonic suite he named after the
cunning narrator, with sweeping and immersive instrumentation.
Scheherazade was composed in 1888, and draws on
Rimsky-Korsakov’s career as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy. He
had a lifelong fascination with folklore and his role as an inspector of
Naval bands gave him a long association with the ocean. The suite
conjures the brine and the sea-spray that would accompany Sinbad on his
many journeys, and brims with exoticism. Under the baton of Peruvian
conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, making his MSO debut, it will soar like the chronicles of old.
Exoticism and passion for folk music drove Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály to the creation ofDances of Galánta,
based on the musical traditions of what is now part of Slovakia. Richly
evocative of Romani culture, it is a work of complexity and romance.
Dutch cellist Harriet Krijgh completes this homage to the exotic with French composer Édouard Lalo’s beautiful Cello Concerto.