'Scheherazade,' 1001 Nights Retold in a Symphony For centuries, storytellers of the Middle East have been retelling the tales of Sinbad and Aladdin. But the first teller of those tales, according to legend, was a young bride named Scheherazade. Rimsky-Korsakov spins the tale in music. Marin Alsop conducts.

'Scheherazade,' 1001 Nights Retold in a Symphony

Alsop discusses Scheherazade on 'Weekend Edition Saturday'

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Bedtime stories took on a new meaning for Scheherazade. Her husband, the Sultan, had the nasty habit of marrying a woman at night and killing her in the morning.

So Scheherazade thought up a plan. Every night she would tell him a story, and leave it hanging. 1001 captivating stories later, he decided to keep her.

These Tales of the Arabian Nights inspired Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov to compose a symphonic suite called Scheherazade in 1888. In the hands of a good orchestra and conductor, it's a technicolor tour de force.

Conductor Marin Alsop says a successful performance of Scheherazade is all about telling the story.