Ernest Chausson Poème, Op. 25 for violin and orchestra [17’]
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherezade, symphonic suite, Op. 35 [42’]
I. The Sea and the Sindbad’s Ship
II. The Tale of the Kalendar Prince
III. The Young Prince and the Princess
IV. The Festival at Baghdad. The Sea. The Ship Goes to the Pieces on a Rock
According to an Arabian tale, Scheherazade, the vizier’s beautiful daughter, saved numerous women by wedding the sultan who married one wife after another, and killed every single one of them the very next day after the wedding. Scheherazade had a rare storytelling gift, so on her own wedding night, she began to amuse the sultan with a tale. The clever woman, however, suspended the story just before the most intriguing bit. The sultan was dying to learn how the story ended, so he put off her execution until the next day. Then he would postpone it over one thousand and one nights. Eventually, he fell in love with Scheherazade and chose to spare her life.
Among the composers who have used One Thousand and One Nights, we find Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The four movements of his symphonic suite are intertwined with the ominous sultan’s theme, the lyrical violin theme of Scheherazade, and the musical illustration of the sea swell.
The title of Ernest Chausson’s Poème is a less direct suggestion, but this work, too, was born thanks to literature (and to the violin virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe, who commissioned it). The source of inspiration here was Ivan Turgenev’s Song of Triumphant Love, a tale of a man who falls for his friend’s wife and a celebration of “the song of love”. Thanks to the latter, those who truly love someone can perform miracles.
Dominika Micał, “Ruch Muzyczny”