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CHAN 5145
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CHAN 5145

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade, Op. 35

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 192Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Peter Oundjian

Jonathan Crow



Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada

(live recording)


Ralph Couzens


Blanton Alspaugh

(Soundmirror Inc.)


Mark Donahue

(Mixing & Editing (Soundmirror Inc.))

John Newton

(Soundmirror Inc.)

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 45:17
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Sheherazade, Op. 35

  Symphonic Suite  
 Jonathan Crow violin
1 I The Sea and Sinbad's Ship – 10:01
2 II The Kalender Prince – 12:13
3 III The Young Prince and the Young Princess – 10:29
4 IV Festival at Baghdad – The Sea – The Shipwreck 12:34
  TT 45:20      
 Peter Oundjian
  June 2013  

Recording with Chandos for the first time, this album marks the beginning of a new partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A regular presence in concert halls throughout the US and Canada, this recording also comes as the TSO embarks, in August, on its first European tour since 2000 under the baton of Peter Oundjian, who this year celebrates his tenth anniversary as Music Director. He also conducts in this performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ever-popular symphonic suite Sheherazade.

Many composers have drawn inspiration from the collection of folklore known as the Arabian Nights but none has captured the imagination so vividly as Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in Sheherazade, composed in 1888. In the story, Sheherazade escapes the murderous intent of her husband, the Sultan Schariar, by entertaining him with fascinating tales every evening for 1001 nights. Rimsky-Korsakov’s four movements allude to individual episodes and images from the stories in dazzling orchestral colour.

The suite opens with a stern and strident brass theme representing the bloodthirsty Sultan. A winding melody for solo violin that returns throughout the work represents the answering voice of Sheherazade. The kaleidoscopic second movement has the character of a scherzo while the third is tender and lyrical. The finale is a boisterous and exuberant carnival, calmed by the return of Sheherazade’s theme which brings the work to a serene conclusion.


 “If any music can benefit from high-resolution SACD sound, it’s Rimsky’s lush, soaring score – and Chandos delivers the goods! So do Mr Oundjian and his players, who give us a straightforward interpretation that is neither over-the-top nor middle-of-the-road and tepid. The conductor gives concertmaster Jonathan Crow plenty of space to spin out the violin solos, and the overall pacing of all four movements is spot on…  It’s difficult to find fault with any aspect of this recording. It is straightforward, gimmick-free traversal of a work some of us know far too well but still love. As such, it will wear well on repeated hearing…  The sound is superb, though not in a showy, hi-fi demo way – just clean smooth, and balanced

Lawrence Hansen – American Record Guide – January/February 2015

“Since refurbishing the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2011, Peter Oundjian has introduced nine new principals, so Sheherezade is a good as calling card as any. Certainly they play well together as an orchestral team, and the soloists come forwards with well-placed contributions in Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourful score. They are led by a beguiling solo violin for Sheherezade’s seductive story introductions… good performance scrupulously recorded …”

John Warrack – Gramophone magazine – Awards issue 2014 

“… This is a fine recording, with the Toronto Symphony and conductor Peter Oundijian, who is now celebrating his 10th year with the orchestra… this ranks very high on my list in terms of musicianship and interpretation. The recording is first rate. It’s in 5.0 surround, with the instruments up front and the sounds of the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto in the surrounds. The acoustics are realistic, without undue spotlighting of instruments. Nothing sounds out of scale, and the wonderful violin solo with Jonathan Crow is well played and well captured. The Chandos team has done an excellent job with a challenging piece in terms of dynamics and frequency extension…”  ****

Mel Martin – – 9 September 2014

                              Performance ***               Recording *****

"The main hero of this recording is the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s lead violinist, Jonathan Crow. His Sheherazade, while a beauty, is not the usual beguiling but vacant dolly bird. Rather, she is a feisty, fearless and engaging storyteller, artfully using her narrative skill to engage the sultan’s attention enough to divert him from his murderous intent..."

Daniel Jaffé - BBC Music magazine - October 2014

Beware that this is claimed as the 24/192 studio file but what is actually sold here is a 24/96 downdsample. You won't get a reply from customer service when you complain about the bait & switch.
R Hutton