Russian Sailor's Dance (arr Susi)

From Wind Repertory Project
Reinhold Glière

Reinhold Glière (arr. Anthony Susi)

Subtitle: From The Red Poppy

N.B. This title is almost universally transliterated as Russian Sailors' Dance. In this case, however, the publisher uses the singular Russian Sailor's Dance.

General Info

Year: 1927 / 2021
Duration: c. 3:45
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan Productions
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet

Part 2

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet

Part 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Horn in F

Part 4

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Horn in F
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium

Part 5

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • String Bass (optional)

Timpani (optional)
Percussion I-II-III (optional), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Inspired by a Russian ballerina, Gliere wrote the music for the ballet Krasny mak (The Red Poppy), later re-titled as Krasny tsvetok (The Red Flower) to avoid the association with the opium drug. The Red Poppy was praised "as the first Soviet ballet on a revolutionary subject." This is his best-known work worldwide.

One piece from the score, his arrangement of a Russian folk song called Yablochko (little apple), consists of an introduction, a bass statement of the theme, and a series of increasingly energetic variations ending with a blazing orchestral climax. It is described in the ballet score as Dance of the Sailors from the Soviet Ship, well-known today as the Russian Sailor's Dance. It is probably his most famous single piece, and is still heard at symphony concerts around the world, frequently as an encore.

Expertly arranged to accommodate any size band with very achievable technical demands, this edition maintains the fiery spirit and dramatic character of the original Russian ballet music from Gliere's The Red Poppy in all its glory. A great showpiece for introducing your students to orchestral literature, it will not only captivate and motivate them, but it is also sure to bring your audience to their feet with its famous blazing conclusion.

- Program Note from publisher

The ballet The Red Poppy was written in 1927 (revised 1949). It deals with an uprising on board a Chinese ship and the successful intervention of Russian sailors. The Russian Sailors Dance is the best-known excerpt from the ballet, and is founded on the popular Russian folk tune title Yablochka (little apple). The dance takes the form of a series of variations on this striking song. Interestingly enough, this folk tune was used both as a revolutionary and counter-revolutionary song throughout Russian history.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Dubuque (Iowa) Wind Ensemble (Nolan Hauta, conductor) - 21 February 2023

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Perusal score
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 235.