Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherezade, Op. 35 Peter Oundjian
- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908): Sheherazade, Op. 35:
- 1I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship10:01
- 2II. The Kalendar Prince12:13
- 3III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess10:29
- 4IV. Festival at Baghdad - The Sea - The Ship Breaks Against a Cliff Surmounted by a Bronze Horseman12:34
Info for Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherezade, Op. 35
Recording with Chandos for the first time, this album marks the beginning of a new partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A regular presence in concert halls throughout the US and Canada, this recording also comes as the TSO embarks, in August, on its first European tour since 2000 under the baton of Peter Oundjian, who this year celebrates his tenth anniversary as Music Director. He also conducts in this performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ever-popular symphonic suite Sheherazade.
Many composers have drawn inspiration from the collection of folklore known as the Arabian Nights but none has captured the imagination so vividly as Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in Sheherazade, composed in 1888. In the story, Sheherazade escapes the murderous intent of her husband, the Sultan Schariar, by entertaining him with fascinating tales every evening for 1001 nights. Rimsky-Korsakov’s four movements allude to individual episodes and images from the stories in dazzling orchestral colour.
The suite opens with a stern and strident brass theme representing the bloodthirsty Sultan. A winding melody for solo violin that returns throughout the work represents the answering voice of Sheherazade. The kaleidoscopic second movement has the character of a scherzo while the third is tender and lyrical. The finale is a boisterous and exuberant carnival, calmed by the return of Sheherazade’s theme which brings the work to a serene conclusion.
“… This is a fine recording, with the Toronto Symphony and conductor Peter Oundijian, who is now celebrating his 10th year with the orchestra… this ranks very high on my list in terms of musicianship and interpretation. The recording is first rate. It’s in 5.0 surround, with the instruments up front and the sounds of the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto in the surrounds. The acoustics are realistic, without undue spotlighting of instruments. Nothing sounds out of scale, and the wonderful violin solo with Jonathan Crow is well played and well captured. The Chandos team has done an excellent job with a challenging piece in terms of dynamics and frequency extension…” (Mel Martin, AudiophileAudition)
“Since refurbishing the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2011, Peter Oundjian has introduced nine new principals, so Sheherezade is a good as calling card as any. Certainly they play well together as an orchestral team, and the soloists come forwards with well-placed contributions in Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourful score. They are led by a beguiling solo violin for Sheherezade’s seductive story introductions… good performance scrupulously recorded …” (John Warrack, Gramophone)
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, conductor
A dynamic presence in the conducting world, Peter Oundjian is renowned for his probing musicality, collaborative spirit, and engaging personality.
The 2018-19 season includes debuts with the Indianapolis and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, and return engagements with the St. Louis, Baltimore, Atlanta, Utah, Colorado, and New World Symphonies as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. He completes his second season as Artistic Advisor of the Colorado Music Festival.
2017-18 marked Oundjian's fourteenth and final season as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). His appointment in 2004 reinvigorated the orchestra with recordings, tours, and acclaimed innovative programming, as well as extensive audience growth, significantly strengthening the ensemble's presence in the world. In 2014, he led the TSO on a tour of Europe, which included a sold-out performance at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and the first performance of a North American orchestra at Reykjavík's Harpa Hall. In the 16-17 season, Oundjian led the TSO on a major tour of Israel and Europe.
From 2012 to 2018, Oundjian was Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). Under his baton, the orchestra toured China, the USA, and across Europe. Together they recorded extensively for Sony and Chandos, and presented Britten's monumental War Requiem at the 2018 BBC Proms.
Few conductors bring such musicianship and engagement to the world's great podiums-from Berlin, Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv, to New York, Chicago, and Sydney. He has also appeared at some of the great annual gatherings of music and music-lovers: from the BBC Proms and the Prague Spring Festival, to the Edinburgh Festival and The Philadelphia Orchestra's Mozart Festival, where he was Artistic Director from 2003 to 2005.
Oundjian was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2010 and Artistic Director of the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York from 1997 to 2007. Since 1981, he has been a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music, and earned the university's Sanford Medal for distinguished service to music in 2013.