Tsatsi La Pallo

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This song about judgment day is ambivalent: we are not sure if this is ‘the Day of Judgment’ in the Christian sense nor do we know if it is to be welcomed or feared. The music is jaunty and jovial throughout, dominated by a rhythmic figure that seems to be trying to dispel any sense of disquiet while the lyrics refer to drumming and ‘beating in twos and threes’; this might even be a reference to African rhythm, at a stretch. Rhythm prevents doubt building up, but somehow uncertainty remains, below the surface. Like all of Moerane’s songs for Soprano and two Altos, this one is ingenious in its handling of harmony, counterpoint, and phrasing.