3 African Songs
for Tenor (or Soprano) and Piano (1974)
by Ron Hannah

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  1. Come Away, My Love
  2. Love Apart
  3. Be Not Amazed

Words: Joseph Kariuki (Kenya), Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria), Leopold Senghor (Senegal)
Duration: about 8 minutes



I am pleased to announce
that this song set was one of those
recommended in the Canadian Repertoire
section for singers wishing to participate
in the Vancouver International Music
Competition
2017
(I wish I knew if anyone chose it!)


    This song cycle is an afterthought following completion of my Master's thesis composition,
The Shrine of Kotje. I had been working on that choral/orchestral piece with Malcolm Forsyth for

    

several months, and during my research into African verse I had found more poems than I could use in the larger work. So this set represents the leftovers - poems that I loved but could not fit in.

    Its style is typical of me: a kind of free-ranging dissonant tonality. The poems and the music cover the emotional field from the tenderness of the first, to the aching loneliness of #2, to the savage anger of the last. It requires a strong voice and equally strong pianist, and these were found in Nigel Lemon, tenor, and Julie Quinn, piano, personal friends who premiered the songs on my Master's recital at the University of Alberta in 1975. The cycle had to wait a long time for another performance, and that was accomplished in 2021 by Luiz Gabriel De Melo Neto and Christopher Devine, who performed it wonderfully at my 75th birthday concert!

A few sample pages of each song may be had also by clicking above, and the full score is available through the Canadian Music Centre, or from myself by sending me an email (below). My only restriction is that you inform me of any performances so that I can keep this website up-to-date.


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