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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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
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“Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/music/1702501-nikolai-rimsky-korsakovs-scheherazade.
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p.). It sounds as fantastic as it used to be in the middle ages, the atmosphere of narration hardly changed even in the XIX and XX centuries. The under discussion story “The Overcoat” is also on the same theme. A number of figurative themes and stylistic metaphoric combination is the cause of fancy in the story.
However, to understand the basic interpretation of the approach a little background research is needed.
The story of Thousand and One Nights is actually the compilation of stories by a queen Scheherazade to the king Shahryar in order to trick the king to keep her alive.
Each country had its owns tales, own characters and its own culture. But all these tales had the same aim - not only to joy people but also to teach them was wrong, and what was right, and how to become a good person. In Persia such stories were combined in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.
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