John Man, pen pal and Tubby the Tuba fan, was overjoyed to learn that his local youth orchestra will once again be programming the classic symphonic suite Scheherazade in almost all of their concerts next year.
“There are so many pieces we could play,” he said enthusiastically. “We are playing this one. Again.”
Scheherazade depicts the story of someone telling stories to someone else in order to alleviate that person’s keen penchant for wife-murdering. Composed by the same guy who wrote The Flight Of The Bumblebee, it is even better than that piece in many ways.
“The composer, Riminimmy-Kasikov, was a real genius at painting a picture with music,” said Man. “Listening to this piece really does make you feel like someone is laboriously telling you one thousand stories of variable quality without efficiently resolving them. I can’t wait to play it. Again.”
We spoke to Sally Nally, who plays flute in the orchestra, and asked her what she thought of the advanced harmonic language and the pioneering orchestration in the piece. “I have a big solo,” she gushed.
The conductor, Bob Guy, expressed his enthusiasm whilst trawling through sewers in search of an innovative concert venue. “I really enjoy Rimming-Kussikov,” he said. “He was definitely a composer, and we are playing one of his pieces in our program.”
Though some have criticised the orchestra for performing the work so frequently, audiences have expressed their approval by promising to buy tickets. Many are keen to sit down for almost an hour before they can go home again, and are eager to agree with each other that the violinist is the next André Rieu.
Boris Noris, the horn player, was pleased to offer his view of the composer’s many other finely wrought orchestral and operatic works. “I have a really big solo!” he said.
In the past few years the orchestra has been trying to look more important, so they have now hired a board of directors. “That piece by Ramsay-Gordonof is really popular with the kiddies,” said one. “I have made a decision.”
We also spoke to the concertmaster, Nompty Dompty, about the enormous influence Scheherazade had on generations of Russian and European composers and whether the composer’s legacy should be defined by his compositions or his teachings. “I have the biggest solo out of everyone,” he said. “I am the concertmaster.”
Man is busy preparing for the performances by talking about them all the time and reading Arabian Nights on public transport in an obvious way. He has already invited friends to all the concerts he is in next year, and he is looking forward to the various after-parties in which he can breathlessly explain everything that went wrong in the concert as if that’s hilarious. “I have never gotten my solo right,” he said. “Classic!”