Piano Music by African Composers

AYO BANKOLE (1935-1976): Sonata No. 2 in C “The Passion”, Variations for Little Ayo, Ya Orule, Nigerian Suite, African Suite, FRED ONOVWEROSUOKE (b.1960): 8 Studies from 24 Studies in African Rhythms, CHRISTIAN ONYEJI (b.1967): Ekele, Echoes of Traditional Life, Chineke Diri Ekele.

Catalogue Number: 06T072

Label: Heritage

Reference: HTGCD 188

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Pianist Omordia has assembled a fascinating and attractive recital of music by Nigerian composers of whom you may well never have heard, usefully reminding us that art music thrives in countries not automatically associated with it, that nonetheless have thriving music schools and as high a probability of producing composers of quality as anywhere else. Bankole was tragically murdered at the age of 41, but left a significant body of music, the major works among which reflect his strong Christian faith. The Sonata is Romantic and very tonal, in a western idiom (the composer studied in London during the time in which he was writing it). It has a clear programmatic outline, its three movements related to Christ's Passion; the first in sonata form, the tragic, chordal slow movement a lament for the Crucifixion and the rondo-finale celebrating the Virgin Mary with references to hymns. His Suites are lighter and most attractive, picturesque and descriptive, with a clear basis in European tonality but many original harmonic touches describing birdsong and alluding to the cadences of traditional songs. Onovwerosuoke's studies are rhythmically lively and harmonically straightforward, using characteristic dance rhythms from various regions. Onyeji is the youngest composer here, and the only one to have pursued most of his musical studies in his native country. His three small pieces refer to traditional drumming and singing styles. Rebeca Omordia (piano).

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