African Choral Legacy: Historic Recordings of Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa

African Choral Legacy: Historic Recordings of Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa
Composer: Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa
Catalogue: CD ACE 001
Duration: 72:25

The music on this CD represents a selection of one African composer’s repertoire of short a cappella choral works from the 1930s to 1970s and is a historical account of cultural adaptation in sound. Tracks 1-8 were recorded in Johannesburg at the Gallo studio in late 1936 or early 1937 and are among the first recordings of choirs in southern Africa. Both the sound quality (preserved from a surviving but rather damaged copy) and the vocal quality, imbue the music with memories of a bygone age. Track 9 is a Gallo recording of the Manhattan Brothers with Miriam Makeba singing an early 1950s jazz arrangement of Mohapeloa's train song, 'Chuchumakhala'. Tracks 10 to 31 are drawn from the rich repository of Mohapeloa recordings in the South African Braodcasting Corporation's sound archive in Johannesburg recorded from the early 1960s to early 2000s. The whole album reveals major changes in African choral singing in the 20th century and Mohapeloa's extraordinary range of styles and expressions, from the lyrical to the dramatic and the folksy to the religious. Each track is a gem in itself.: accessible, unusual, and intriguing. Collectively the 31 tracks offer a window into the largely undiscovered world of modern African choral song, making a delightful counterbalance to the more familiar African commercial music of South Africa.

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1. Methaka, Emang (Friends, Rise Up) (1:18)
  • Morija Training College Choir, conductor not specified
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2. U Ea Kae? (Where Are You Headed?) [i] (2:20)
  • Morija Training College Choir, cond. B. Mashologu
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3. Chao (Chao Dance) (1:26)
  • Morija Training College Choir, conductor not specified
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4. Chabana sa Khomo (The Cow Nation) (2:20)
  • Morija Training College Choir, cond. B. Mashologu
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5. ’Mutlanyana (Hare) (2:39)
  • Morija Training College Choir, conductor not specified
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6. Tsohang (Wake Up) (1:33)
  • Morija Training College Choir, conductor not specified
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7. Morija (Morija) (2:25)
  • Morija Training College Choir, cond. B. Mashologu
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8. Kolliana (Kolliana) (2:44)
  • Morija Training College Choir, conductor not specified
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9. Chuchumakhala (The Choochoo Train) [i] (3:07)
  • Manhattan Brothers with Miriam Makeba
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10. U Ea Kae? (Where Are You Headed?) [ii] (1:50)
  • Ionian Male Voice Choir, cond. Khabi Mngoma
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11. Quthing (Quthing) (2:42)
  • Hlotse PEMS Church Choir, cond. not specified
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12. Nonyana Se-nya-mafi (The Prattler) (4:08)
  • Meloding Youth [Choir], cond. Mr Ramereki Matlokotsi
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13. Thoko ea Maafrika (Praise Song for Africans) (3:18)
  • Sharpeville Methodist Church Choir, cond. N.G. Ramasia
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14. Pesalema 103 (Psalm 103) (1:32)
  • Munsieville Methodist Church Choir, cond. Sister Mafaesa
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15. Obe (Obe) (2:50)
  • Newell High [School] Choir, New Brighton, cond. Henry Tyaliti
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16. Moshoeshoe, Tsoha (Moshoeshoe, Arise) (1:30)
  • Itlotliseng Secondary Choir, Witzieshoek, leader L. Ramathe
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17. A Re Eeng (Let’s Go) (2:34)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church Choir, Orlando West, leader Z.K. Mokoena
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18. Mokhotlong (Mokhotlong) (2:40)
  • Soweto Teachers Choir, leader J. Mazibuko
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19. Ei! Ei! (Oh! Oh!) (1:53)
  • Orlando Methodist Church Choir, cond. Thabo Motaung
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20. Coronation March (4:09)
  • Quthing Evangelical Musical Society, cond. not specified
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21. U Ea Kae? (Where Are You Headed?) [iii] (1:42)
  • Madikana High Students, leader Katane Thema
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22. Liphala (Horns) (2:04)
  • Regina Mundi Choir, cond. Jabulani Mazibuko
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23. Chuchumakhala (The Choochoo Train) [ii] (2:21)
  • Sebokeng Training College Choir, cond. Jacob ’Moleli
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24. Leeba (The Dove) (1:17)
  • Mamelodi Adult Choir, cond. Simon Makgalemele
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25. Qeu! Qeu! Majoana (‘Knock Knock’ Go the Pebbles!) (1:54)
  • Nomathiya High Choir, Matubatuba, cond. Phembalipi Dlamini
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26. Moea oa Leboea (The North Wind) (2:27)
  • Meadowlands N.G. Kerkkoor, leader Z. Moloi
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27. Tšaba-tšaba (Watch Out!) (1:33)
  • Imilonji Kantu Choir, cond. George Mxadana
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28. Hook, Haneeu! (Stop, Stop!) (2:00)
  • Bonamelo Adult Choir, cond. M.P. Pule
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29. Thoko ea Tlhōlo (In Praise of Man's Victory Over Ignorance) (4:35)
  • Manzini Adult Choir, cond. not specified
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30. Senqu – The Orange River (2:00)
  • Voices of Joy / Sebokeng College of Education Choir / Revival Youth Choir Sharpeville, cond. not specified
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31. Molelekeng (Molelekeng) (1:34)
  • Massed Choir, cond. not specified
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