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 Rimsky-Korsakov Bumblebee
Author: Cecile75 
Date:   2020-03-05 23:38

Hello. I want to learn the Flight of the Bumblebee for Clarinet Bb. Which transcription/edition would you guys recommend? Cheers, Cecile

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 Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Bumblebee
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2020-03-06 01:30

Back in high school I learned two versions, one started on altissimo e and the other f#. The one starting on f# was slightly easier, requiring less agility over the break keys, but both are possible. As for editions, I wouldn’t know! The one starting on f# would be in a minor concert, the other one starting on e would be g minor concert pitch. Hope this helps.....

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 Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Bumblebee
Author: m1964 
Date:   2020-03-06 10:22

Long time ago played it, starting from F#.
The "standard" was to play the whole thing with repeat in less than 60 seconds.



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 Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Bumblebee
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2020-03-06 18:49

Hi m1964. I'm glad you put "standard" in quotes - your tongue was in your cheek. The music was intended to evoke the image of a real bee and one's wonder and apprehension of the fascinating monster. Most arrangements for solo are watered far down from the original.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYAJopwEYv8

Personally I'm a fan of technical display, but since learning that there's yet another astounding technician lurking under every bush, I've come to value it most when the composer deliberately incorporates it as an expressive element in the music. Rimsky-Korsakov did not do that here.

Growing up in Vermont in the 1950's-60's, bumblebees were common to encounter outside, as were a multitude of other insects. Last summer in 2019 I was amazed (and delighted) to actually see a couple bumblebees in flowers set near my house, because I hadn't seen a single one for several years, or any bees. Nor have I in recent years seen butterflies or beetles or grasshoppers. Or many birds. Or wild flowers besides dandelions. Plenty of ticks, though.

If a piece evoking the flight of a bumblebee were written today, it would have no technical display at all, it would be barely audible and evoke a mournful murmur disappearing into the night.

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 Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Bumblebee
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2020-03-09 00:22

Years ago I played it with our band on Eb (someone wrote it out for me). He transposed it from the original for Bb that started on the F#. Solo pay at the time was $100, but our conductor said he could only pay me $50 because it was so short. I said "yeah but if you pay me by the note...."

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


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 Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Bumblebee
Author: m1964 
Date:   2020-03-09 02:42

Philip Caron wrote:

"Hi m1964. I'm glad you put "standard" in quotes - your tongue was in your cheek. The music was intended to evoke the image of a real bee and one's wonder and apprehension of the fascinating monster. Most arrangements for solo are watered far down from the original..."

Hi Philip,

I like to hear virtuosic playing as well but I feel that when even the most famous musicians play, sometimes the virtuosity takes over the "image" or "mood".
I feel that way when listening to classical pieces like Weber and Mozart concertos.
"Flight of the Bumblebee"? It does require some technicalities but any good arrangement will have proper dynamics that can be followed by a performer.
The piece is so short that, with good "mental focus", a performer should be able to recreate the mood.
I assume that a player who has technical ability to perform the piece will have corresponding artistic qualities. I may be wrong in my assumption...



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