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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is renowned as a teller of musical tales. More than half of his 15 operas are based on fairy-tales: The Snow Maiden, Kaschey the Immortal, The Legend of Tsar Saltan, and The Golden Cockerel to name but a few. Another of his most popular works is surely his symphonic suite Sheherazade, based on the tales of The Thousand and One Nights. The four movements of the work are united both by their musical and their dramatic content. Rimsky-Korsakov creates wonders in his music, like a magician weaving a spell. Each theme, in his words “appears each time in a different light, depicts each time a different picture and expresses each time a different mood. The same motifs and themes are used at different times to represent different figures, actions and scenes.” The musical synthesis at the end combines those of the protagonists Sheherazade and her husband in gentle intimacy, which indicate that the tales have softened the Sultan’s cruel heart. This musical tale of the magical Orient ends with echoes of Sheherazade’s beautiful theme. The Golden Cockerel, a ballet-opera based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin, is also included on this release.