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The Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888 set one of these wonderful stories, the tale of Schaherazade to music. It should be noticed that "based on The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, this orchestral work combines two feature common to Russian music, and of Rimsky-Korsakov in particular in particular: dazzling, colorful orchestration and an interest in the East, which figured greatly in the history of Imperial Russia". Through all the movements of the suite run the theme of gorgeous women and wonderful teller, Schaherazade. Emotional, sensuously winding and full of inscrutability melody for violin solo, which is accompanied by harp, perform this theme. This is not just some excerption from an ancient eastern melody. It was composed by Rimsky-Korsakov himself, in the way that it is really seems the melody combines all the enchantment and inviting mystique of eastern lyrics. The same may be said about all other themes: orchestral, lyric-singing etc. They all synthesize eurhythmics, figuration, and diversity of color of eastern music.
Rimsky-Korsakov is best known for his mastership to paint beautiful pictures in music by using the colors of sound made by each instrument of orchestra. He had a color ear for music, and perceived the notes associating them with particular colors2.
The whole first movement depictures the sea, which appears again in the ending section of the final. In such way the composer margined his suite with glaringly blue, and sparkling sapphire colors. The theme of sea is falling from the theme of overbearing Sultan. The theme of Sultan is built on four notes of the describing whole tone scale. Immediately following this theme, almost interrupting it, is the gentle and passionate violin solo of Scheherazade. This is one of the loveliest melodies ever penned. "Listening to these two themes, and the sweeping music of Schaherazade's tales that transports us bodily into the magic of the 1001 Tales of the Arabian Nights, one can only wish that Rimsky-Korsakov had had the time to produce settings for the other 997"3.
Some time after we forget about fearful governor as Allegro starts painting the picture of the sea. Accordingly changes the character of the first movement: now it sounds stately and on an even keel. This calmness is underlined with figuration of accompaniment, in which we hear decuman ocean waves. The main theme of the first movement is added by two accessory themes. One of them is a theme of Sinbad's ship. The other one is a theme of Scheherazade, Sultan's wife, who used to please her husband with the marvelous stories. It is remarkable that the wavy accompaniment, which appears as an essential element of the main part, disappears just for a while and then comes again, sounding almost throughout whole first movem
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