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Missa Luba - 10 Kenyan Folk Melodies

Muungano National Choir Kenya

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Album Review

Out of the tradition of composers contriving new forms for the Catholic mass, Boniface Mganga of Kenya conceived of Missa Luba, a Catholic mass with the interlocking polyrhythmic vocals native to Kenya, as well as the addition of various African drums, hosho rattles, bells, and the like. The first five songs on the album are beautifully moving renditions of the major portions of a mass ceremony, performed by the Muungano National Choir of Kenya. After the mass ceremony, various folk melodies of Kenya are also performed by the choir, mostly of a devotional nature, with similar interlocking vocal patterns. When one thinks of the stereotypical East African vocal sound, post-colonialism, this is the sound that comes to mind, and for a good reason: it's beautiful, through both its clarity and its power.

Customer Reviews

surprise annotation

I first heard Missa Luba on an LP in 1961. The jacket attributed the composition to a Belgian Catholic priest in the Congo. Look at the Choral Arts Society of Washington"s recording on the Naxos label. It attributes the origin in the Belgian Congo. Nevertheless this Kenyan rendition evokes my memory of the singing in that original recording much better than the Choral Arts Society's.

Missa Luba

I too first heard this in the early 60's.Finding a 'repro' is very fullfilling. I have a memory that tells me the original was better. I think that is due to the impact of first hearing. Maybe. WONDERFULL! C.W.Cavanagh

I agree

It is wonderful to hear this music again..I have fond memories of hearing it back in the 60's. I wonder if the original is available. It seemed like the voices were stronger, but as someone else has said...it could just be nostalgia.