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Pierre Monteux / Adrian Boult / London Symphony Orchestra

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Russian Easter Festival Overture (CD)

In his most famous orchestral composition, 'Scheherazade', Rimsky-Korsakov, like Beethoven in his 'Pastoral' Symphony before him, was more interested in evoking feelings and impressions than in spoon-feeding listeners a pre-digested program. So the titles he provided for its four movements were indicative rather than based on particular stories from the `Arabian Nights`.

Pierre Monteux's recording, taped in Kingsway Hall in June 1957, was first issued on RCA (at the time when the label had a collaborative release arrangement with Decca). Since then the recording has been repatriated to Decca who first issued it on LP in 1970 and then on CD in 1988 as part of its `Weekend Classics` series. It is now restored to circulation as part of Eloquence's on-going exploration of the recorded legacy of Monteux.

That same year, Rimsky-Korsakov also completed the `Russian Easter Festival Overture`, also known as `Bright Holiday`, in keeping with the Russian Orthodox name for Easter. Many of the melodies heard in this work were taken from the 'Obikhod', a collection of liturgical chants dating back many centuries and first published in 1772. Rimsky-Korsakov had a deep appreciation for Russia`s pagan and early Christian history.

Sir Adrian Boult's recording of the Overture also hails from 1957 and like Monteux's 'Schehrazade' first appeared on RCA. Decca released it in 1971 as part of its Eclipse series. This is its first release on Decca CD.


NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
Scheherazade
London Symphony Orchestra
Pierre Monteux

Russian Easter Festival Overture*
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Adrian Boult