Recorded at the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, including on the iconic Field Concert Hall stage
Inspired by an anonymous collection of traditional Arabic, Persian, and Indian fairytales—known today as The Thousand and One Nights, or The Arabian Nights—Scheherazade is a reimagining. Composed in the summer of 1888, it is a unique musical experience born of the confluence of famed Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s personal history and a culture he barely knew, passed through the lens of prodigious musical artistry.
The Story of Scheherazade
In the myth of Scheherazade, a mad Sultan takes a new wife each night only to then have her put to death the following morning. In the titular Scheherazade, the Sultan meets his match. Over 1,001 nights, she saves the lives of a thousand women—as well as her own—by relaying to the Sultan an endless series of engrossing stories.
It is this power of storytelling, a music of the mind able to move mountains and stay the hand of death, which is heard and felt so deeply in the recording.
About the Recording
In December 2021, conductor Osmo Vänskä and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra set out to record a stunning new rendition of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Recorded at the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, including on the iconic Field Concert Hall stage, Vänskä and the Orchestra did more than just recapture the enchanting nature of Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral gem, itself an aural reimagining of that ancient and oft-told myth.
“Scheherazade demands musical virtuosity and highlights the magnificent artistry of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra,” says Vince Ford, executive producer of Curtis Studio.
Indeed, what resulted from those sessions is a true achievement: The very first recording produced by Curtis Studio, released in coordination with Platoon, told through the talents of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
“These musicians represent a very bright future for classical music,” Ford adds. “We are thrilled to share their performances through Curtis Studio.”
Osmo Vänskä appeared courtesy of BIS Records.
01 - 08 A behind-the-scenes image of Scheherazade recording sessions.
02 - 08 Conductor Osmo Vänskä and members of Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
03 - 08 Recording sessions took place in spaces across Curtis Institute of Music.
04 - 08 Conductor Vänskä and the Orchestra recorded across several weeks.
05 - 08 4k camers were utilized to capture the performance in the highest possible quality.
06 - 08 Scheherazade is a product of the Performance Innovation Lab at Curtis.
07 - 08 Curtis's Gould Rehearsal Hall was one of the spaces for recording.
08 - 08 Recording began in December 2021 and completed in January 2022.