Hyperion Records

Siyahamba 'We are marching in the light of God'
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Siyahamba, which is subtitled ‘We are marching in the light of God’ and based on a South African freedom song, is the first of the Three Global Songs of John A Behnke (born 1953), a professor at Concordia University in Wisconsin, USA. The repeated and sometimes syncopated chords which are heard at the outset introduce ‘Stanza One’, a jaunty first statement of the theme. An ‘Interlude’ then leads to a robust further statement, in which the pedals are heard for the first time and the theme is nobly declaimed on a trumpet stop. At the second ‘Interlude’, the music abruptly switches from the solidity of G major to the sparkle of the remote key of A major, and a passage similar to that heard initially introduces the final ‘Stanza’, which is marked fortissimo and A bit slower, more majestic. The repeated chords’ return make one think that the music is dancing into the dim distance, but the composer surprises us.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2004

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