Tales keep us alive: they are as essential to us as the water we drink or the air we breathe. Legend has it that after killing his unfaithful wife, Sultan Shahryar, mad with rage, decided to have the woman he had married the day before executed each morning. When it was Scheherazade's turn, she proposed a pact that would save her life: every night, she would tell him a story. But by depriving him of the story's ending every day at dawn, she would force the sultan to forever defer the girl's execution. The stratagem worked so well that the cunning Scheherazade outlived not only the sultan but also the centuries: in 1888 she gave her name to a symphonic poem by Rimsky-Korsakov, structured by two musical themes - that of Scheherazade and that of the sultan? - which interact and modify each other.
Composed by Danish composer Carl Nielsen, Aladdin (1919) was originally stage music intended to accompany the first performances of a drama at the Royal Theatre. When he discovered the stage director's drastic cuts to the score, the composer insisted that his name be removed from the poster. This sumptuous score is restored to us in all its opulence.
Lorraine National Opera Orchestra
Eivind Gullberg Jensen
Shéhérazade, opus 35