The Muungano National Choir, Nairobi
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Review: Missa Luba
Phillips Digital Classics 426 836-2
Muungano National Choir (Kenya)
Boniface Mganga, director
This reviewer has enjoyed the music of the Missa Luba since first being exposed
to it on the album "Missa Luba and Christmas in the Congo" while in
seminary some years ago.
The Muungano National Choir of Kenya under the direction of Boniface Mganga has
done a wonderful job of recording this piece. The recording is of the highest
quality and so is the musicianship.
Missa Luba was written before the Second Vatican Council when Latin was still
the official language of the Roman Rite in Africa. This setting combines the
ancient Latin text with modified African rhythms and polyphony in a manner that
seems to bring out the best in both.
This could be used by educators in several ways. The rhythms and polyphony of
the African settings are directly accessible to all ages. Students can see how
Latin was used in this adaptation of a musical form from Africa. The tempo has
been reduced so that the typical African sounds become more like that of Roman
chant. The examples of African music which follow can be used to compare and
contrast with those of Missa Luba. One can note the difference in using
indigenous languages when it comes to indigenous music.
AT THE SHELDONThis first CD of the St. Louis African Chorus has become an educational
companion for traditional African music. Read Online Review or Order
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