Thursday, May 28, 2009

Russian Masterworks benefit, honoring Randy Bewley

Athens Brass Choir: Russian Masterworks at Emmanuel Episcopal
June 15, 2009

7:00 PM

The Athens Brass Choir, a community brass ensemble, opens its sixth season with "Russian Masterworks", a benefit concert for Nuçi’s Space in memory of Randy Bewley.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church Street
498 Prince Avenue
Athens, GA
Marche Slave
P.Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Pictures At An Exhibition (complete)
M. Mussorgsky (1839-1881)

We open the Athens Brass Choir's sixth season with two major works of 19th Century Russian music. Both "Marche Slave" and "Pictures At An Exhibition" are very familiar to modern audiences; however, the story behind the works may not be. Pictures, in particular, has a very personal meaning for the group; Mussorgsky composed it to honor a close artist friend, Viktor Hartmann, who died of an aneurysm at the age of 39. The music depicts a posthumous exhibition of Hartmann's works, connecting movements representing several diverse paintings, sketches, and watercolors with a "Promenade" theme (representing the walk between paintings, when the old images are still with you, while the new ones approach). The observer is suddenly presented with a stark reminder of mortality at "The Catacombs", feels anger and denial through "The Hut on Hen's Legs (Baba Yaga)", and ultimately reaches acceptance with the grandeur of "The Great Gate of Kiev".
With this work, we honor our own artist and dear friend, Randy Bewley, who died earlier this year. This is a free concert, but donations are encouraged; all money collected will go to benefit Nuçi’s Space, a non-profit health and music resource center in Athens, GA, dedicated to providing low-cost rehearsal opportunities for young musicians, helping prevent suicide by treating musicians for depression and other disorders, and otherwise assisting the emotional, physical and professional well-being of musicians.