Programme Notes

Rimsky-Korsakov - Flight of the Bumble Bee

Rimsky Korsakov (1844-1908) Flight of the Bumble Bee
Arranged for flutes by Carla Rees

This short and popular encore piece comes from the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, based on a poem by Pushkin and written in 1899 to commemorate 100 years since Pushkin’s birth. In the course of the opera, Prince Guidon. Son of the Tsar, is transformed into a bumble bee by a swan, who he has saved from being killed by a kite. As a bumble bee, Guidon can fly over the sea to visit his father. The Flight of the Bumble Bee is the orchestral interlude of Act 3.

This arrangement for piccolo, flute and alto flute makes a feature of the contrasting timbres of these three instruments, sharing the melodic material in three balanced parts.

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