Rhapsody for orchestra in 3 movements
Written in 1915 and revised in 1918
Click the link below to view the part:
I. The Death of Andrei
II. The Death of Ostap
III. The Prophecy and Death of Taras Bulba
The composition is dedicated to "our army, the armed protector of our nation"
The Death of Andrei, focuses on the Cossack Taras Bulba's younger son, who falls in love with the daughter of a Polish general. It begins with a passionate episode between the lovers. The music grows more turbulent, showing a battle between the two armies. Andrei fights on the side of the Poles, but when his father nears him in the battle, he realizes his treachery, and lowers his head to be killed by Taras Bulba himself.
The Death of Ostap, focuses on Taras Bulba's older son, who is overcome with grief by Andrei's death. He is captured by the Poles during the battle and taken to Warsaw for torture and execution. Taras Bulba sneaks into Warsaw in disguise, and at the moment of Ostap's death, he forgets where he is and calls out to his son.
In The Prophecy and Death of Taras Bulba, the Cossacks fight throughout Poland to avenge Ostap. Taras Bulba is eventually captured in a battle on the Dnieper River, but before he is burned to death by the Polish army, he issues a defiant prophecy: "Do you think that there is anything in the world that a Cossack fears? Wait; the time will come when you shall learn what the orthodox Russian faith is! Already the people sense it far and near. A Tsar shall arise from Russian soil, and there shall not be a power in the world which shall not submit to him!"
INSTRUMENTATION: 3 flutes (3rd also piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, clarinet (in E-flat), 3 bassoons (3rd also contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, chimes, cymbal, snare drum, triangle, harp, organ, strings (solo violin)