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Giles Swayne: Epitaph And Refrain Op.89: Chamber Ensemble

Score | Sheet Music and Books

COMPOSER: Giles Swayne
PUBLISHER: Novello and Co
PRODUCT FORMAT: Score
Giles Swayne wrote this piece to commemorate the life of his brother-in-law, Nii Sackey Codjoe, who came to England from Ghana as an illegal worker. Sackey's goal was to make money to give himself a better future in hishome country, but he was made redundant with the result that his life fell
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Specifications
Composer Giles Swayne
Publisher Novello and Co
Instrumentation Flute French Horn Viola Harp
Product Format Score
Description Product Type Score
Genre Classical
Style Period Post 1901
EAN 5020679203323
No. MUSNOV957825
Description
Giles Swayne wrote this piece to commemorate the life of his brother-in-law, Nii Sackey Codjoe, who came to England from Ghana as an illegal worker. Sackey's goal was to make money to give himself a better future in hishome country, but he was made redundant with the result that his life fell apart. He gambled and drank away all the money he had saved, and eventually died of heart failure. Sackey's story is all too common, but none the lesstragic for that. He left no children, and his warmth and laughter were blotted out by a world for which he was not adequately equipped, leaving nothing behind. Nobody except a handful of kind Ghanaian church people came tohiscremation, which was paid for by the hospital where he died.

In the piece, a simple 25-bar refrain is gradually transformed, recurring four times. These four refrains are interspersed by four episodes, which give a musicalportrait of aspects of Sackey's life and character. After the fourth refrain comes the final section, Valediction, in which we hear his pulse (represented by flute, horn and viola) falter and cease, while the harp quietly playsthe melody of a hymn which was a favourite of Sackey's:

'Rock of ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee...'

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