The Great Gate of KievNote by Ms E. Bird
We have reached the final movement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition suite. This describes a gate designed by Hartmann. Current czar Alexander II had escaped an assassination attempt on 4 April 1866 and there was a competition to design a commemorative gateway.
H. won the competition, but, for reasons unknown to us, the gate was never built. He considered the design his finest work, so it is fitting that M. chose to feature it in the suite as the grand finale. The movement is sober in parts yet also wildly exuberant, especially in its reference to the bells just below the helmet-shaped cupola. There is a joyful return to the Promenade theme too, inspiring us to revisit parts of our sonnet, 'Promenade'.
All at BirdBrains thank everyone for reading and enjoying this series :-) :>)
* * *
Great Gate, Czar celebration built in brick
of hundred hues and heroes etched on stone
and sunken columns, granite, giant thick,
upon whose arch our eagle has his throne;
a coat of arms augments his feathered feet
above grand stained-glass Saviour, happy host
of angels singing to the peal of bells
that echoes over every Kiev street
from rich-helmed dome, a glad triumphal boast
to goad dissenters in their prison cells!
Fine Art, no other artist scales these walls
nor reaps imagination for such jewels
festooned within the heavenly high halls
of this Academy and all its schools;
ah, Viktor! I am honoured to behold
this legacy to last beyond my years,
and to have known a friend so true to me
that, as I write, my soul seems gleaming gold
and, though I weep, these are my thankful tears
for everything you are, in memory!
Poetry by Coo & Co
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Written on 2015-09-07 at 01:01
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