On February 10 and 11 the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performed a program of three very different but distinctive compositions with the epic “Scheherazade” as the centerpiece.

With a reputation for featuring the works of new and unknown composers, the programme opened with the debut performance of the Contemporary piece “Symphony No. 1, Awaking”, by Wang Jie. Wang composed the piece while she was in college. At Kleinhans Music Hall for the performance, Wang was also present during the rehearsals to help bring her vision to life.

BPO

Making a return visit to Buffalo, Finnish violinist Elina Vahala joined the BPO for a performance of the “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, Op. 47” by the Finnish composer and violinist Jean Sibelius. Seibelius took inspiration from nature for his compositions. Vahala performed the Concerto with technical perfection.

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After the intermission, the BPO returned to the stage to perform “Scheherazade”. Composed by the Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, the composition follows the story of the Arabian Nights and the 1,001 tales. Young Scheherazade weds the evil Sultan in hopes of foiling his scheme of marrying a maiden at night and then having her executed in the morning. Over the next 1,001 nights she weaves her tales and in the end she softens the Sultan’s heart.

BPO Concertmaster Dennis Kim gave a passionate performance as Scheherazade on his violin. The work in four movements offers principal performers with the BPO plenty of opportunity to shine as Rimsky-Korsakov included many solos in his composition to represent the various characters in the tale.

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BPO Classical Conductor Joann Falletta called “Scheherazade” one of the greatest orchestral works – one that the BPO performed masterfully bringing a standing ovation and rousing applause from the audience.

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