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Sinfonia: Hegira (1993)

for large orchestra

The word "hegira" refers to a forced journey or exile and is often used in reference to the forced migrations of various Native American tribes in the middle east part of the previous century. For the Cherokee, who passed near or through Fayetteville on their way to Oklahoma, it was known as the "Trail of Tears."

The three movements of Sinfonia: Hegira are each based on a quote from a song or mythology of one of the tribes forced from their homeland. The first movement, an Adagio, is subtitled:

"remember the sacredness of flowing streams," which comes from a song of the Pawnee tribe. The music largely represents the peace and tranquility of a gently flowing stream. The second movement, marked Molto Allegro, is subtitled: "fly away rave, for today I die," an excerpt from a Mandan song, and is infused with the struggle for life. The final movement, Un Poco Adagio, begins with a canon for ( ?) strings which is gradually overtaken by the entire orchestra. The melodic of the canon continually interrupts the tutti orchestral statements and finally brings the movement to a close. The following excerpt from Sac mythology serves as the inspiration for the third movement: "the road to the city of death is paved with wide grasses."

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