The City of Birmingham Police Band
Conducted by Richar Wassell
Eva Floyer(The Entertaining Soprano)
(Soloist, P.C. Cook)
Like more than one of the modern Russian composers, Rimsky-Korsakov knows something of the East at first hand. Listeners may very likely remember that his first important piece was actually written during a cruise in Eastern waters, where he was on duty as a naval officer, the career which he combined for a time with music.
This story of Sadko, which is in some sort a Russian version of the old Orpheus legend, attracted Rimsky-Korsakov more than once. It was the subject of one of his early poems, as well as of fhe opera, and the tale was made by him from the old Russian chronicles. In the opera, this song is sung by a tenor, although it is now often borrowed by sopranos; it is familiar, too, as an instrumental piece, and its dreamy, languorous melody lends itself well to performance on the violin, or, indeed, on almost any melodious instrument. In the opera it is a Hindu merchant who sings it, telling of his own country and of his home-sickness.