The Tales of One Thousand and One Nights were turned into Rimsky-Korsakov's most popular symphonic work. A sailor-composer who sailed across the seven seas (he was an officer in the Russian Imperial Navy); Rimsky-Korsakov imbued the score with the colours and rhythms of the Middle East. Carry on reading
This orchestral fresco draws on an exotic, fairy-tale world of adventure and romance, evoking images of Sinbad, the princess Scheherazade, the perils of the high seas and the magnificent feasts of Baghdad. Korngold revolutionised Hollywood film scoring with his post-Romantic themes but, when he tired of this (with two Oscars under his belt), he returned to his beloved symphony music. In 1947 he composed one of the twentieth century’s most outstanding violin concertos, loaded with passion and dedicated to Alma Mahler. According to the composer the piece needs to be “performed by a Caruso and a Paganini in one person”. The programme opens with a piece by China's most international modern composer, the winner of an Oscar for best film score and composer of the music for the Beijing Olympics.