“A tsar will arise on Russian lands, and there’ll be no power on earth that won’t submit to him!” declares the hero of Gogol’s novella Taras Bulbabefore he’s burned at the stake. It was this novella – and this scene in particular – that inspired Leoš Janáček’s orchestral rhapsody of the same name.

Repin Cossacks Ilya Repin’s Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire, 1891

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