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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov:
The Tale of Tsar Saltan

The Flight of the Bumblebee comes from an opera called The Tale of Tsar Saltan, which is based on a story by the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. In the opera’s complicated plot, Prince Gvidon is separated from his father, Tsar Saltan, and ends up ruling an island full of enchanted objects and animals -- including an enchanted swan, whom the prince marries once she gets turned back into a princess.

Music heard in this episode:
Rimsky-Korsakov: Tsar Sultan Suite

Other shows about Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov:
About Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Russian Operas
The Bees and the Birds
Composer Teachers and their Students

Download this month's activity sheet

About Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
3/18/1844 - 6/21/1908
Born in Russia

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was born in the Russian town of Tikhvin. During his childhood, Nikolai enjoyed listening to Russian folk songs, church music, and opera.

When he was older, Nikolai followed his brother to the naval college in St. Petersburg. While he was there, he also studied music. Rimsky-Korsakov composed his first symphony while on a navy ship.

After he left the navy, Rimsky-Korsakov was asked to teach at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, which is now called named for him. Rimsky-Korsakov was also one of a group of five famous Russian composers known as "The Mighty Handful" (as in five fingers).

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote operas, choral music, chamber music, and works for piano. One of his most famous pieces is the Flight of the Bumblebee, from the opera Tsar Saltan. In the opera, this music is played when a prince disguises himself as bee.

See other composers born in Russia


This Week's Quiz:

1. One of the most famous pieces from the opera, The Tale of Tsar Sultan is:

The Birds

The Nightingale

The Flight of the Bumblebee

The Wasps

2.The Tale of Tsar Sultan was based on a story by what Russian poet?





3. The Tale of Tsar Sultan is a very complicated fairy tale.




Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Flight of the Bumblebee

Composed in 1899
Performed by CSR Symphony Orchestra
Anthony Bramall, conductor

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