and the
Philadelphia Orchestra

Seventy-forth Season, 1973~1974
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director
William Smith, Conducting
December 12, 1973
Academy of Music, Philadelphia

BARBER ~ Essay for Orchestra, Op.12

CRESTON ~ Fantasy for Trombone and Orchestra, Op.42
Glenn Dodson, Trombone

OBATALA ~ Arthur Hall
and the Arthur Hall Afro-American Dance Ensemble

~ intermission ~

TCHAIKOVSKY ~ Symphony N0. 4 in F minor, Op. 36
Andante sostenuto moderato con anima
Andantino in modo di canzona
Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato
Finale: Allegro con fuoco

Obatala, the King of the White Cloth, is one of the principal saints (orisha) of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and each year his faithful worshippers venerate him in a festival. To them he is the embodiment of the Creative Spirit and represents cosmic consciousness and the manifestation of purity and moral righteousness. He is praised as Alamorere, the one who deals in the choice clay that forms man, as Alabalese, the weilder of the scepter, and O Ho Ho, the god of laughter who stands by his children and lets them succeed.

The dance opens with a procession of praise for Obatala. He is carried in by the men and women of the village who sing of his greatness and benevolence. The women ask him to bestow husbands and fertility upon them; the men ask for strength. Together, they sing that Obatala will answer their requests, and "A Change Will Come." Obatala then dances alone and teaches his children the lessons of compassion, patience, and love. He approaches each to answer their requests.

by George K. Diehl Program cover photograph of Guinea Harvest by John Lindquist

Arthur Hall's Obatala
More about Obatala
Obatala Index
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