Taras Bulba Overture

From Wind Repertory Project
Mykola Lysenko

Mykola Lysenko (trans. Jeremy S Martin)

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General Info

Year: 1891 / 1924 / 2022
Duration: c. 4:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Contact arranger


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle (small)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Taras Bulba is a four-act opera by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko. The libretto was written by Mykhailo Starytsky (the composer's cousin), and was based on the novel Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol. The story was about a Cossack who kills his son after he betrayed those fighting for their freedom.

Lysenko worked on Taras Bulba during 1880-1891, but it was his insistence on the use of the original Ukrainian text for performance that prevented any productions during his lifetime. He was so intent on elevating Ukrainian culture to European standards that he refused to allow the opera to be translated. The opera, which Lysenko also maintained was too ambitious for Ukrainian opera houses, was eventually staged during the Soviet period in Moscow after it was reorchestrated by Levko Revutsky.

Shortly after completing the opera, Lysenko played the score for Peter I. Tchaikovsky, who reportedly listened to the whole opera with rapt attention, and particularly liked the passages in which national, Ukrainian touches were most vivid. Tchaikovsky embraced Lysenko and congratulated him on his talented composition.

The opera, which was unrevised at the time of the composer's death in 1912, was first performed in 1924. However, present-day performances are based on thorough revisions which modified the text, the music, and the orchestrations. These revisions were completed in the 1930s and 1950s.

The opera remains in the repertory of the Kiev Opera House, which has also performed the opera abroad in Wiesbaden (1982), Dresden (1987) and Zagreb (1988). The opera house traditionally performs the opera at the end of each operatic season in Kiev.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Allentown (Penn.) Band (Ronald Demkee, conductor) - 20 August 2023
  • United States Air Force Band (Washington, D.C.) (Michael Willen, conductor) - 18 October 2023 (Jonesboro, Ark.)
  • United States Air Force Band of the West (San Antonio, Tx.) (Dustin M. Doyle, conductor) - 21 July 2022
  • United States Band of Mid-America (Justin Lewis, conductor) – 31 July 2022 (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • United States Band of the West (Donald Schofield, conductor) – 21 July 2022 (San Antonio, Tx.)
  • United States Band of Mid-America (Justin Lewis, conductor) – 3 July 2022 (Alton, Ill.) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer