Sheherazade Alivetwo pianos (2003)
|Premiere||June 2003; Vienna, Austria; Oender Piano Duo|
Sheherazade Alive was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, the Ferhan and Ferzan Onder piano duo. It was written between January-March 2003. When Ferhan and Ferzan suggested that I write a work inspired by the 1001 Nights Tales my reading led me more to the circumstances of Sheherazade’s telling of these stories rather then to the stories themselves. Sheherazade was Vezir’s (the right hand man of the Sultan) daughter. It was known that the Sultan had killed all his previous wives on the mornings after their marriage. Vezir was against Sheherazade’s desire to marry the Sultan but he could not stop her. As Sheherazade joined the Sultan in marriage, her plan was to tell him tales that would always remain unfinished by the following mornings. This went on for 1001 nights, during which they had many kids, and at the end the Sultan could not bring himself to kill her.
This is an amazing story about the strength and conviction of women. Various sections of the work have subtitles that convey the many states Sheherazade must have been in during the 1001 nights: convinced; strong; creative; persuasive; patient; passionate; powerful; wife, mother; sensitive; triumphant. This work is dedicated to the strength of women everywhere.