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Massing at Mussorgsky's Great Gate of Kiev

Here are Wikipedia's notes on the two movements in the video above.

The Hut of the Baba Yaga flows into The Bogatyr Gates, or Great Gate of Kiev at about 3.20 in

9. The Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba Yaga)

Stasov's comment: "Hartmann's drawing depicted a clock in the form of Baba Yaga's hut on fowl's legs. Mussorgsky added the witch's flight in a mortar."

A scherzo marked Feroce with a slower middle section. Motives in this movement evoke the bells of a large clock and the whirlwind sounds of a chase. Structurally, the movement mirrors the grotesque qualities of "Gnomus" on a grand scale.

The movement is cast in ternary form (ABA):

  • Allegro con brio, feroce
  • Andante mosso
  • Allegro molto (a nearly literal repeat)
  • Coda

The coda leads without a break into the final movement of the suite.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

10. The Bogatyr Gates (In the Capital in Kiev)

Stasov's comment: "Hartmann's sketch was his design for city gates at Kiev in the ancient Russian massive style with a cupola shaped like a slavonic helmet."

Bogatyrs are heroes that appear in Russian epics called bylinas. Hartmann designed a monumental gate for Tsar Alexander II to commemorate the monarch's narrow escape from an assassination attempt on April 4, 1866. Hartmann regarded his design as the best work he had done. His design won the national competition but plans to build the structure were later cancelled.

The movement's grand main theme exalts the opening Promenade much as "Baba Yaga" amplified "Gnomus"; also like that movement, it evens out the meter of its earlier counterpart. The solemn secondary theme is based on a baptismal hymn from the repertory of Russian Orthodox chant.

The movement is cast as a broad rondo in two main sections: ABAB–CADA. The first half of the movement sets up the expectation of an ABABA pattern. The interruption of this pattern with new music just before its expected conclusion gives the rest of the movement the feeling of a vast extension. This extended leave-taking acts as a coda for the suite as a whole.

  • A: Main Theme (forte, then fortissimo); maestoso
  • B: Hymn Theme (piano) (A minor); senza espressione (without expression)
  • A: Main Theme (forte); descending and ascending scale figures suggest carillons.
  • B: Hymn Theme (fortissimo) (E minor); senza espressione
  • C: Interlude/Transition (mezzo forte with crescendo to forte); promenade theme recalled. Suggestions of clockwork, bells, ascent.
  • A: Main Theme (fortissimo); Meno mosso, sempre maestoso. Triplet figuration.
  • D: Interlude/Transition (mezzo forte with crescendo). Triplets.
  • A: Main Theme (fortissimo); Grave, sempre allargando. The tempo slows to a standstill by the final cadence.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

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