NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Conducted by WARWICK BRAITHWAITE
' THE Flight of the Bumble Bee ' is taken from an Opera of Rimsky-
Korsakov's called' The Legend of Tsar Sultan ,' of which the story is an old Russian fairy tale, akin in some ways to our own ' King Arthur ' legends. Produced in Moscow, towards the end of 1906, it is among the last of the composer's works ; listeners will remember that he died m 1908 at St. Petersburg.
The piece, illustrating the flight of the mythical bumble bee, is a brilliant solo for the flute with the slightest of accompaniments, a particularly happy example of Rimsky-Korsakov's whimsical manner.
RUSSIAN composers, probably more than others, have used their native folk tales as bases of operas and other works on a big scale. In The Snow Maiden,' from which ' The Dance of the Tumblers' is taken, Rimsky-Korsakov embodies an old story which tells of the first day of spring. The Snow Maidens' realm is in festive mood, because it was on this day that young bridal couples came to receive their monarch's blessing.
The Dance of the Tumblers is the last part of the attendant festivities.