When Julia Purgina was working on the last scenes of her opera, she got - to paraphrase the composer herself - as if out of the blue an irrepressible desire to write a symphonic poem. A "Don Juan" - or rather a "Donna Juana"! The search began for a character - a person who is symptomatic of our time; strong and powerful, but also vulnerable; who risks, wins and loses; who (unlike Don Juan!) plays with her femininity without playing with others and who breathes the air of the present and yet is timeless; who remains where others flee. Does such a character even exist in the present? Perhaps there is a heroine, but she withers through the hardships of life; breaks with her desire and her dreams; believes neither in her strength nor her possibilities; wishes herself into another time, another place; curses her femininity; dissolves herself; leaves before she has (arrived). The search is not over yet, but there is still some time until April 11.To get exotic melodies for his "Scheherazade", Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov went to the Crimea (here he visited the famous Fountain of Tears immortalized by Pushkin) and to Constantinople. The real inspiration, however, probably came from the opera he completed for his friend Alexander Borodin, who died unexpectedly at the St. Petersburg Academic Ball at the time, "Prince Igor," which is teeming with Orientalisms. The tone poem is abstractly divided into Prelude, Ballade, Adagio and Finale, yet Scheherazade herself, represented by the solo violin, runs through all chapters. These two symphonic poems embrace a body and stomach piece of the concert business, Schumann's piano concerto, as well known as beloved.

© Jens F. Laurson




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ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien