Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee for Bassoon & Piano

By Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. James M. Guthrie, ASCAP

Small ensemble

Includes score and parts

Digital download

Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee for Bassoon and Piano - Advanced - Digital Download Composed by Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908). Arranged by James M. Guthrie, ASCAP. Romantic Period, Repertoire, General Instructional, Technique Training, Recital. Score, Set of Parts. 15 pages. Published by Jmsgu3 Publications (S0.333127). Flight of the Bumblebee from Korsakov's "Tale of Tsar Saltan" Score: 9 pages, Solo part: 3 pages, Piano accompaniment part: 3 pages. Duration: ca. 1:15 Amaze your listeners with this short but stunning recital encore!

Flight of the Bumblebee is, to be sure, an orchestral interlude composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. Korsakov, of course, intended to musically portray the chaotic flying pattern of a bumblebee. Nowadays, this piece is one of the comparatively more famous classical works because it frequently appears from time to time in popular culture. In the opera, the piece appears notably at the close of Act III, Tableau 1. This is when the magic Swan-Bird, in fact, changes the Prince (the son of the Tsar) into a bee so he can fly away to visit his father. Interestingly, at this point in the drama, his father, in effect, does not know that he is alive.

Korsakov Background NikolaiRimsky-Korsakov (1844 –1908) was a uniquely famous composer from Russia. He was likewise a member of an infamous assembly of composers called The Five. Korsakov was furthermore an expert in orchestration. His correspondingly most famous orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter FestivalOverture, and the Scheherazade suite—are important monuments of the standard music repertoire. Also, comparatively very important are his suites and excerpts from his 15 operas. Korsakov was moreover fond of using Russian folklore and fairy tales in his music, such as Scheherazade.

Nationalistic Style Korsakov believed, similarly to fellow outspoken composer Balakirev, in creating a nationalistic, Russia-centric style of classical music. The new style was in fact called “Orientalism.” It similarly relied on native Russian materials, exotic scales, and experimental harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic procedures. This practice, conversely, ran counter to the developments in Western musical culture.

Musical Developments Nevertheless, Korsakov developed an appreciation of Western musical techniques after he became a professor of musical composition, harmony, and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1871. Moreover, he undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education and mastered Western methods, incorporating them in conjunction with the influences of Mikhail Glinka and other members of The Five. His techniques of composition and orchestration were additionally enriched by his exposure to the works of Richard Wagner.

Naval Service Korsakov combined his music career accordingly with a career in the Russian military. He was in the first place an officer in the Russian Navy. In due time, he was appointed as a civilian Inspector of Naval Bands. As a result, Korsakov expanded his knowledge of woodwind and brass playing, which in turn heightened his capabilities in orchestration.

Legacy Korsakov in due time contributed a significant number of Russian nationalist works. He also prepared, from time to time, compositions by The Five for presentation. This brought their works straightaway into the active classical repertoire as well. He also shaped an entire generation of younger composers during his time as a music educator. Therefore, music historians consider Korsakov as the foremost engineer of what the public considers to be the Russian style of composition. He served, all-in-all, as a transitional figure between The Five and the classically trained composers who became the norm over time. In addition to the Russians, he forthwith influenced composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Dukas, and Respighi.

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Product details

Title: Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee for Bassoon & Piano

Ensemble: Small ensemble

Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Arranger: James M. Guthrie, ASCAP

Includes score: Yes

Includes parts: Yes

SKU: PS-1904290-D

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Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee for Bassoon & Piano

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