Procession of the Nobles

If you played in the Youth Orchestra in Lexington, KY in the 1970s, you might recognize this piece from the Rimsky-Korsakov opera "Mlada".   You would never know it from having seen the opera as it is almost never performed.  The synopsis might explain why.

Time: The ninth or tenth century
Place: The Slavic lands of the Baltic sea-coast, in the city of Rethra, near the Labe (Elbe) River, in modern-day Germany.

Act 1

Voyslava has killed Mlada, Yaromir's bride, to have him for herself. With the help of Morena, the goddess of the underworld, she has captivated Yaromir. But he sees the murder in his dreams.

Act 2

At the midsummer festival the people dance, while the spirit of Mlada intervenes between Yaromir and Voyslava.

Act 3

By night Mlada leads Yaromir up Mount Triglav, where the dead gather, before the Witches' Sabbath
in which Yaromir is shown a vision of Cleopatra.

Act 4

Yaromir, at the Temple of Radegast, is shown by the spirits that Voyslava is guilty. She confesses her sin and he kills her. Morena, with whom Voyslava had made a compact, destroys the temple and the city of Rethra, but Yaromir is united with Mlada in heaven.