Scheherazade is the fictional heroine of "A Thousand and One Arabian Nights" tale. Educated, beautiful and witty, she is the elder of two daughters of a head of state (vizier) of a kingdom located somewhere between Arabia and China.

The head of the kingdom, the sultan, (not Scheherazade's father), loves his wife very dearly but she commits adultery which sends him into rage and vengeance. He decrees to have a new wife every night and put her to death every morning. This order carries out for three years until Scheherazade wills her father into allowing her to become the sultan's next wife.

Right after Scheherazade marries, she begs the sultan permission for her sister to sleep in the same chamber. Just before dawn, Scheherazade's sister asks her to tell her a story. As she tells what is the first of a thousand and one "Arabian Nights" the sultan listens in and becomes fascinated. All the while Scheherazade plans to tell the story until its climax, then stop and leave the sultan in suspense. The sultan agrees to let her live another night to hear the ending, and this cycle continues for a thousand and one nights. During this time, Scheherazade bears the sultan three sons which convinces him of her wifely devotion. He revokes the decree and he and Scheherazade live happily ever after.
The title of a magnificent symphony written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), a Russian composer. It is easily one of the most popular symphonies in this modern time, probably due to its easily identifiable and uncommonly beautiful passages.

Rimsky-Korsakov's theme for Scheherazade herself is almost heartbreaking in its sensuality and simplicity. The "narrative" passages are filled with huge sweeps from highs to lows, sometimes thunderous where the story demands it, sometimes subtle. I tend to be swept away with images of sand dunes and Bedouin whilst listening to it.

Personally, it is my favorite symphony.

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