Imibala yenjabulo. African Suite No. 18

(The Colours of Happiness)

For Recorder and Piano

First Movement: Desired Departure (Alto and Piano)
Second Movement: Illuminated Inside. (Alto and Piano)
Third Movement: Infinite Fountain (Soprano and Piano)
Fourth Movement: Splendid Surprise (Soprano and Piano)

Score and Solo Part.

Imibala yenjabulo in Xhosa means The Colours of Happiness. I wrote this suite for the famous recorder player Meng-Heng Chen who had invited me to Taiwan this July for a workshop and two concerts that were dedicated to my works. We played the premiere in the concerts on July 2 in Hsinchu and July 3 in New Taipei City, you can watch the videos on Youtube. I don't know if you can see how excited I was: it was my first public performance as a pianist since 1983.

Three things were important for me in writing this piece. First, it was meant to be a real concert piece, so I did not spare with challenges for the two instrumentalists - only a few people will be able to play it from first sight. Second, I wanted to use the complex texture and the large compass the piano offers without drowning out the recorder part that is still supposed to be the leading voice. For this reason, I chose the soprano recorder in the third and fourth movements: it is not so easily predominated. And of course I wanted to paint the colors of happiness how I experienced them in Africa: the joyful impatience before starting the journey, the inner illumination through a great love, the meditative contemplation of a never ending waterfall, and the sudden happiness of being surprised.

I wish to thank Meng-Heng Chen for the wonderful experience of playing together, her and her team for how devoted they took care of me during my two weeks stay in Taiwan, and Ebba-Maria Künning-Zeijl for her numerous comments and suggestions. May this piece inspire the players as much as my travel to Taiwan inspired me and may it spread so much happiness as I felt when composing it.

Here Mona Wölfel and me play the first movement, Desired Departure:

Here Ebba-Maria Künning-Zeijl and me play the second movement Illuminated Inside:

Here you can see Meng-Heng Chen and me performing the fourth movement in New Taipei City on July 3:

number of pages: 
19,90 Euro