Fibich, Zdeněk


Fibich, Zdeněk

Boure (The Tempest) Symphonic Poem Op. 46

SKU: 1270 Category:



Zdeněk Fibich – Bouře, The Tempest, Op. 46

(b. Seborice, 21 December 1850 – d. Prague, 15 October 1900)

One of the leading “Romantic”-style composers in the Czech lands of the late 19th century was Zdeněk [Zdenko] (Antonín Václav) Fibich . Trained in Vienna, Paris, Germany and Prague, he drew upon the compositional techniques of Weber, Schumann and Wagner as well as Czech folk-popular music but without slavish imitation. Strongly influenced by drama, poetry and literature, Fibich produced a prodigious number of works in various genres, most of which are reminiscent or illustrative of Czech literary and pictorial themes.

Like Dvořák, Fibich was a lightning rod for various nationalistic parties, which meant that many of his best compositions were not performed in his lifetime.

Bouře (The Tempest), Op. 46, in F minor, is a symphonic poem that draws on impressions and characters from Shakepeare‘s play ,“The Tempest” which was translated/adapted into Czech by the poet J. Vrchlický. Composed in the years 1893-94, the work received its first performance in Prague (March 1895) to mixed reviews, given the heavily politicized culture of the time.

Fibich makes use of the corno di bassetto (basset horn), a highly unusual choice of instrument, but one which gives a deeply nasal sound, more so than bassoons (which are also present) – enhancing an atmosphere of mystery.

The form of the movement follows the traditional sonata-allegro form in which the Introduction portrays the storm that besieges the ship. The artistic crafting and scoring result in one of the most astonishing evocations of lightning, thunder and strong winds in the Western canon. The “tempest” motif is transformed into the principal theme, suggesting the stern, implacable character of Prospero himself. Fibich then transforms that theme into the secondary theme which evokes the growing love between Miranda and Fernando. As the movement progresses and then stops abruptly, the love theme conquers the tempest/Prospero in a surprising Coda – in F major.

The score was originally published by the Zdeněk Fibich Society, which owns many of the composer‘s works.

Barbara A. Renton, 2012

For performance material please contact the publisher Edition Bärenreiter Praha, Prague.

Read German preface > HERE

Score Data


Repertoire Explorer






210 x 297 mm



Go to Top