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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade - Essay Example

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Scheherazade is a symphonic poem by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It is an oriental-themed pieced based on One Thousand and One Night, which means it mostly bears oriental imagery. Still, it is open for interpretation as music is able to give rise to a variety of images, which will be different for every single person. …
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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade
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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade

Download file to see previous pages... Of course, the orientalism of the symphonic poem makes a significant impact on the images the listener may have in his / her mind; however, the way they are represented depends on the listener’s experience only.

Personally, I like the first part the most. For me, it is the most bright and memorable when it comes to visual imagery. This part of Scheherazade is definitely about the sea. With the first sound of the woodwinds after the main theme, I see the sunlight that goes through the calm and glassy water so it shines and even become hard to look at. After the entrance of the second main theme, when the orchestra plays tutti, it is the time for the ship to appear. It is a massive, powerful ship with huge sails; it seems that no wind and no storm can destroy it. Music renders the feeling of greatness and stability. Also, it reflects the movements in the see, namely, how waves roll back and forth calmly and steadily. Suddenly, a blast of wind destroys quietness at sea; the waves become larger and larger, calmness turns into a heavy storm with the ship being its victim which is thrown to and fro. All the themes interweave, and the string party become more restless. The image of the storm is completed with despairing exclamations in the wind instruments. But the storm blows over, and the see is calm and peaceful again.

The second part of the symphonic poem starts with the theme from the first part followed by a rich ornamented theme in bassoons which is developed in variations in parties of other instruments. The theme is so smooth and melodious that it reminds of a human voice, like someone is telling a story. Further, tense surges up and becomes more uneasy, emotional and enthralling. The exclamations in the group of brass instruments reminds of fanfares, and it creates an image of a blistering battle, a struggle to the last breath. In fact, the entire march-like episode based on these ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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