Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Flight of the Bumblebee

Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the group of Russian nationalist composers known as "The Five" - Modest Mussorgsky was also one of the group, and after Mussorgsky's death, Rimsky-Korsakov arranged much of his material now part of the common Orchestral Canon.

Mut Rimsky-Korsakov was a fine composer in his own right.  Probably his best known long piece is his Orchestral Suite "Scheherazade".  Undoubtedly, this is his most famous short piece.  You've very likely heard it.

It's insanely complicated, to the point that it is an irresistible challenge to musicians of all types.  If you need to prove your musical chops, this is the one to dust off.  The original score is for flute, but other instrumentalists pick up this gauntlet, too - for example, the Canadian Brass on Tuba:

Or here, with the U.S. Army Brass' Trombonist:

It ain't bragging if you can do it.


Southern Belle said...

Very nice choice in music this morning BP, it was actually on of my favorite pieces when I was a kid.... and welcome back to Texas. I'm looking forward to the shoot this coming weekend.. should be a blast.

libertyman said...

Amazing musicianship, and the piece evokes the bee's flight astonishingly well.
Didn't Disney do a cartoon with this?

Borepatch said...

Belle, it will be a blast.

Libertyman, I can't remember - it might have been Warner Brothers.

Guffaw in AZ said...

Somehow I just flashed on Martin Mull's Dueling Tubas!
Flight of the Bumblebee is terrific, however.
Thanks. - gfa

BobG said...

One of my favorite versions of Flight of the Bumblebee is the Al Hirt version, which was used on the Green Hornet weekly program.

libertyman said...

I think I found it on Melody Time, but it is Bumble Boogie. Turns out it was considered for Fantasia.

Now I must get Fantasia, and Melody Time, too.

Are you sure you don't work for Amazon?

Angus McThag said...

It had a nice cameo in the movie Shine too.