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Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade; The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Suite)

Audio Samples

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Scheherazade
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Skazka o Tsare Saltane), musical pictures (suite) for orchestra, Op. 57
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Flight of the Bumblebee

Album Summary

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Scheherazade
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Skazka o Tsare Saltane), musical pictures (suite) for orchestra, Op. 57
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Flight of the Bumblebee
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Described by the composer as a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images and designs of oriental character, Rimsky-Korsakov's beloved symphonic suite Scheherazade has delighted listeners for generations. The suite or Musical Pictures from The Tale of the Tsar Saltan depict in orchestral garb episodes from this magical opera, from which the mischievous Flight of the Bumblebee is also drawn. The Seattle Symphony is one of the world's most recorded orchestras, with 12 Grammy® nominations and two Emmy Awards. Renowned American conductor Gerard Schwarz, now celebrating his 26th and final season as Seattle Symphony Music Director, is internationally recognized for his deeply moving performances, innovative programming, and extensive recording history.

”Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle forces turn in an absolutely terrific Sheherazade: voluptuous, exotic, with a nice flexibility of pulse, but also very exciting. You can tell this will be a fine performance from the very first bar: firm and strong, with the brass giving the theme a menacing growl, followed by Maria Larionoff's bewitching solo violin representing the protagonist herself. Only the finale, while admirably fleet and precise, lacks a touch of cinematic sparkle, but when everything else goes so well this is a minor point. The two inner movements in particular have a crispness and flow that are very welcome, and (these days) somewhat unusual.

The Tsar Saltan Suite is just plain spectacular--as colorful and brilliant as you could imagine. Its central movement, "The Tsarina in a Barrel at Sea", is particularly gripping: the strings really dig, the accompaniment throbs, and the entire movement has an emotional impact that most performances barely begin to suggest. Through it all the orchestra plays with one hundred percent commitment, and the sonics, just a shade dry, offer maximum clarity. This is the first disc in a projected series, and if it maintains this standard it will be a high point in the extensive Schwarz/Seattle discography.”-Classicstoday.com

"Maria Larionoff imbues her violin solos with some feeling, and there is some excellent work from the wind principals...In the less familiar Tsar Saltan Suite...Tempos click into place effortlessly, and the lapping figure which represents the sea comes across with more character than in Sheherazade [sic]" -BBC Music Magazine***

"Gerard Schwarz's seasoned Seattle Symphony makes a more than favorable impression, with cultured solo playing and an impressive opulence and corporate blend. Schwarz has an articulate and often seductive story-teller in his concert-master-turned-sultana Maria Larionoff, whose immaculate tuning would alone help stave off her master's displeasure" -Gramophone Magazine

WQXR (New York)
Naxos is on a Russian roll this month with a double-hitter from this member of The Five. Bass Mikhail Kazakov, who made an impressive star turn in Dallas earlier this year in the title role of Boris Godunov, headlines the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari's The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, a dreamy work widely thought to be the Russian Parsifal. Also out this month on Naxos are orchestral suites from several of Rimsky-Korsakov's other operas, including The Snow Maiden, Sadko and Le Coq d'or. Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony are in incredibly fine form with this repertoire, which you can also hear on recordings of Scheherazade and Capriccio espagnol, also released on Naxos this past May and September, respectively.

MusicWeb International
Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade is a colorful and powerful score, and many conductors have done it well, but this one goes over and beyond. Each phrase grabs you. The orchestra is technically and emotionally superb. This is a real sonic feast for the ears - spectacular, explosive, electrifying! The pairing is equally vivid and expressive. This is a proof that the great names of the past still can be beaten!

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington, USA.



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Works Details

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Scheherazade
  • Performer: Maria Larionoff (Violin)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Running Time: 45 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1888

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Skazka o Tsare Saltane), musical pictures (suite) for orchestra, Op. 57
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Running Time: 19 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Flight of the Bumblebee
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Running Time: 1 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901