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The flight of the bumble bee

Composer
Nikolai Rimsky Korsakoff
Year of composition
1901
Arranger
Lyricist
none
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
1 minute
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
String orchestra
Instrumental parts
Not available

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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