The flight of the bumble bee

By: Nikolai Rimsky Korsakoff
For: String orchestra
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The flight of the bumble bee


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Nikolai Rimsky Korsakoff
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
1 minute
Classical music
License details
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Rimsky-Korsakov was quite prolific in the realm of opera, having completed 15, leaving four others in sketch form. The Tale of Tsar Saltan was the tenth and its music is among the most-familiar scores the composer wrote, both in operatic form and in the suite derived from the opera.

The Flight of the Bumblebee has emerged as the score's most-famous musical passage, arguably as familiar-sounding as anything in Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov's most often-heard large work. Though many recordings of the Tsar Saltan Suite include it, The Flight of the Bumblebee is a scherzo for that work. It has also appeared in various arrangements for piano (Cziffra and Rachmaninoff made a well-known one), for violin and piano, for brass ensemble, and many other instrumental combinations. Here it is arranged for solo flute with string orchestra.

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