GREAT GATE OF KIEV, The (from Pictures at an Exhibition) (Brass Band) - Mussorgsky, Modest - Littlemore, Phillip
Modest Mussorgsky was a close friend of the young artist and architect Victor Hartmann, and his death in 1873 plunged Mossorgsky into a deep depression. The following year a memorial exhibition in St. Petersburg displayed Hartmann's paintings, costumes, architectural designs and sketches. Mussorgsky's visit to it, combined with his desire to write a piece in his friend's memory, inspired him to compose hisPictures At An Exhibitionfor piano. A suite of ten movements, with a recurring Promenade theme, it is one of the composer's most famous works and regarded as a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It is perhaps the orchestral transcription made by Maurice Ravel in 1922 that is now the most famous version of it. This arrangement opens with a brief excerpt fromThe Hut on Fowl's Legs, which was based on a painting of an elaborately carved clock depicting Baba Yaga, a horrible tiny witch that feasts on human bones. The tenth, and final picture in Mussorgsky's masterpiece is commonly referred to asThe Great Gate of Kiev, although it's literal translation is The Bogatyr Gates ??" a Bogatyr being a hero figure in medieval East Slavic legend. It features a grand main theme that is interspersed with a more solemn hymn-like secondary theme. The work closes with a grand final rendition of the Promenade theme that almost grinds to a halt at what must be the foot of what were to be magnificent ceremonial gates (although they were never actually built!). Duration: 6:00Estimated delivery 12-14 days
In the 1960's, a group of session musicians had some studio time left over and asked if anyone had something they wanted to try. The young vibes player, Wayne Hill came up with this tune, which they recorded on the spot, almost as a 'throwaway' piece. To viewers in the UK, it is best known as the music used in "The Gallery" sequence of 'Vision On', which was a British children's television programme, shown on BBC1 from 1964 to 1976. Tony Hart, artist and co-presenter of the programme, made pictures in a variety of sizes and media, and encouraged children to submit their own paintings to "The Gallery" for display on TV. They did so in their thousands. The piece has been used in a number of adverts including those for Volkswagen, Castrol Oil and Waitrose, and TV programmes such as NBC's America's Got Talent, The X Factor (U.S) and the BBC panel show QI. Left Bank Two features a Vibraphone solo with Brass Band accompaniment. For those bands that do not have a Vibraphone, an alternative solo for a B flat instrument is included.