Wednesday Music: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

I bet some of you thought I’d forgotten to post Wednesday music on Wednesday again, right? 😉 Never fear—Wednesday music is a bit late today, but it’s still Wednesday where I am!

This week, we leave the five-week-long Mozart spree (it was completely necessary, of course, because I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a violinist if I didn’t talk about the Mozart violin concertos) to go east to Russia. This week’s piece is Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op. 35. Here’s a bit about it:

  • It’s a symphonic poem. A symphonic poem “illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source,” according to Wikipedia. In this case, the work that inspired this music is One Thousand and One Nights, aka The Arabian Nights.
  • The different parts of the piece are titled with thematic headings from One Thousand and One Nights. For example, the first movement (that’s my favorite) is called “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship.”
  • This piece is usually considered Rimsky-Korsakov’s most popular work.

Or click here to watch on YouTube