African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions


Moerane composed Matlala while he was teaching in Lesotho, and it was an immediate hit in that country, because it was felt to be one of his most 'traditional' sounding songs, and probably also because it relates to the custom of appeasing the ancestors by offering them 'choice cuts of meat' at a feast. On a metaphorical level, it is about the way deeds come back to haunt you after your death, and about atonement. It is an immensely powerful song, quite operatic at times, with varied tempi and expressive touches and textures greatly enhanced by a prolonged Alto divisi at one point. The link below is to a Youtube performance sung at a choral competition in South Africa in 2017, which gives an idea of the kinds of voices and performance situations Moerane wrote for. The choir comes from the Eastern Cape, which was where Moerane was born. The words are in Sesotho, which was Moerane's home language and is the home language of many Eastern Capers who live close to the Lesotho border.
Duration: c5'30"


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Matlala complete score published by ACE

Moerane Critical Edition

Matlala - Youtube performance

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