The flight of the bumblebee

Originally the orchestral interlude of the third act of the opera The Tale of Saltan written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1899-1900, the flight of the Bourdon became an entity in its own right. Real challenge for musicians, the piece requires a real dexterity to chain notes at a frantic pace. Originally written for violin, the piece was performed on the trumpet, clarinet, harmonica and so on.

We are at the end of Act III, Guidon the son of the Tsar has just been transformed into a bumblebee by the Swan to catch a ship sailing towards his father.

“Well, now, my drone, forward, Catches up with the ship on the sea, Slowly slow down, Penetrates into the crack a little further. Good luck, Gvidon, steals, But do not stay long! (The bumblebee is flying away.)


Flight of the Bumblebee

Violin: Katica Illenyi Győr Philharmonic Orchestra

© Francisco Infante-Arana