Spirit of Africa.
'Spirit of Africa' was commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival and first performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Maureen Brathwaite and BackBeat Percussion, conductor Gavin Carr, at Cheltenham Town Hall on 12 July 2012. It is written for SATB choir, soprano soloist and piano with three optional percussion players and was originally composed as a companion piece for 'African Sanctus' by David Fanshawe, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of the West of England in 2009. A version with chamber orchestra will follow shortly. With words specially written by Jennifer Henderson, it is inspired by the colours and symbolic meanings of the flags of Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, the countries visited by David Fanshawe during his travels recording music for African Sanctus in 1969-1973. The words and music of the five movements trace a journey through the day, with the colour white for daybreak mist, green for morning freshness, red for midday heat, gold for sunset and black for night; each with its own mood and character, hopes and fears. Reviews of the music include the following: "Spirit of Africa is beautifully written for the chorus and soprano soloist, with lovely textures and atmospheric sonorities from the ensemble of piano and percussion. This work deserves to be widely performed by choral societies up and down the country." Richard Blackford, composer and conductor "Liz Lane's Spirit of Africa is a haunting and lovely work, full of simple but effective harmonic shifts and lively rhythms - ideal for the amateur chorus looking for something brand new and approachable to present as a 'pendant' to a bigger work." Gavin Carr, Chorus Master, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
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