Original Instrumentation: Orchestra, Hand Percussion, SSATBB Choir, Tenor and Alto Soloists
Text: The Lord's Prayer (sung in Swahili)
Performance History: First performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Talisman A Cappella, conducted by Jack Wall, September 21, 2006. Subsequent performances include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Philharmonic, and in concert at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disney Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, and the United Nations General Assembly Hall.
Program Notes: 'Baba Yetu' is a Swahili setting of The Lord's Prayer, originally commissioned as the theme song for the video game Civilization IV. Since its debut in 2005, it's become an immensely popular choral work and one of the most critically acclaimed pieces of music written for a video game, winning a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.
FROM CHRISTOPHER: "Missionaries of the 19th-century used Swahili as the lingua franca for spreading Christianity across East Africa; consequently, a rich tradition of vocal music arose that blended European harmonies with traditional African call-and-response. My setting of The Lord's Prayer introduces several new elements into this tradition: an explosive orchestral accompaniment, as well as a complex series of modulations to bring the choral setting into a variety of tonal centers. This became my template for many pieces to follow, particularly on my song cycles 'Calling All Dawns' and 'The Drop That Contained the Sea'."
"Alfred Accompaniment" Orchestration
Legacy orchestration matching the Alfred choral octavos; includes parts for trumpets
[Perc: GC, Tam-tam, SusCym, Chimes, Finger Cymbals, Taiko, Ashiko, Shkr, Caxixi]
Main choral octavo for use with full orchestra (SoundTrax available)
SSATBB Choir, Alto and Tenor Soloists, Piano
SATB Divisi A Cappella with Perc Octavo
A Cappella version with optional percussion parts (SoundTrax available)
SATB Divisi, Alto and Tenor Soloists, Optional Percussion