Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Pohádka (1910, revised 1923)
Pohádka is based on the epic poem "Stazka o tsrae Berendyeye" (The Tale of Tsar Berendeyev) by Vasily Zhukovsky, which is also the basis for Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird.
Janáček offers the following note as a preface to Pohádka:
Once upon a time there lived Tsar Berendyey, who had a beard down to his knees. He had been married for three years and lived with his wife in perfect harmony; but God still hadn’t given them any children, which grieved the Tsar terribly. One day the Tsar felt the need to inspect his kingdom. He bade farewell to his consort and for eight months he was on his travels.