Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade

We begin where we left off in yesterday’s Music History Monday post, with what was the closing statement: “It’s a fact: the very history of twentieth century Russian, Russian expatriate, and Soviet composers starts with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), whose own roots trace back through The Five to Glinka and the awakening of Russian musical nationalism in the 1830s, all of which was an outgrowth of Napoleon’s defeat in Russia in 1812!” During his lifetime, Rimsky-Korsakov was best known for his thirteen operas.  However, he is best known today for three spectacularly popular orchestral works, all of which were composed within a span of 18 months, between the winter of 1887 and August 1888: the Capriccio espagnole, The Russian Easter Overture, and Scheherazade. Scheherazade – the Story The literary story behind Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade comes from a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales initially compiled during the 9th century, a compilation entitled One Thousand and One Nights.  Among the best-known of the folk tales in this compilation are “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.” Many different versions of One Thousand and One Nights have come down to us, […]

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