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Scheherazade.2, by John Adams

Philadelphia Orchestra / New York / Music

John Adams wrote Scheherazade.2—subtitle, “Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra”—inspired on the one hand by Rimsky-Korsakov’s similarly titled symphonic suite and on the other by the formidable powers of Leila Josefowicz as a storyteller in music. Supposedly the new work turns tradition on its head, putting Scheherazade “in a position of strength” vis-à-vis the potentate she holds spellbound. OK, fine. But wasn’t the woman’s power always the whole point of the story, social structures be damned? Maestro, music, please! —M.G.

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