A Nigerian narrative: Russian romances:
THINGS FALL APART
Things Fall Apart, a work for voice/narration and small ensemble, is based on the landmark novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It tells the story of Okonkwo, a village leader, who through a series of unfortunate events and the coming of Europeans, ultimately takes his own life. Things Fall Apart was written in 2011 and was commissioned by Odekhiren Amaize, who gave the world premiere performance with the musicians on this recording. Composer Roger Vogel has more than 140 compositions to his credit. He is on the faculty at the University of Georgia. He has received awards and prizes from the Roger Wagner Choral Composition Competition and the Delius Composition Competition, among others.
Roger C. Vogel, composer
Things Fall Apart
Odekhiren Amaize, voice and narration, Todd Mueller, percussion, Martha Thomas, piano, Angela Jones-Reus, flute
“From the very first notes of Things Fall Apart, I knew that this would be a fascinating and captivating work. …The raw power of certain sections of this work is perfectly counterbalanced with the gentler, more lyrical portions, the result being a work of con-vincing structural unity. Things Fall Apart demands repeated hearings, and will offer rewards for many such. …Most enthusiastically recommended.” (Fanfare)
And other Russian Romances
Borodin, Mussorgsky, Sergei Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
ODEKHIREN AMAIZE, bass-baritone
David Korevaar, Piano
"Amaize has a solid bass-baritone voice...I would be thrilled to encounter him in recital and hear a program like this one...His sharply focused sound, the strong high notes, and his comfortable generalized feel for the shape of the music are all assets. The recorded sound is quite good, natural and well-balanced."
Fanfare - July/August 2000
" ...there is no voice or heart more perfectly suited to interpret these deep, rich Russian songs than his deep, rich Bass-Baritone...the combination of Rakhmaninov and Amaize is nothing short of amazing, and I was moved to tears on more than one occasion. Absolutely stunning!"
Gerri Gribi, AfroAmericanHeritage.com