Monday, November 24, 2008

Instrumental Versions of Michael Mosoeu Moerane's Songs 'Della' and 'Sylvia' Heard at UNISA

[Fatse la heso; South African Music, National Symphony Orchestra of the S.A.B.C.; Peter Marchbank, conductor; Marco Polo 8.223709 (1994)]

University of South Africa Online
On Sunday 2 November 2008, the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology presented a historic concert, Unisa Composes, in the ZK Matthews hall, with the help of generous sponsorship from SAMRO. Featuring six composers with Unisa associations in a programme of stimulating and attractive contemporary art music, the performances were enthusiastically received by an appreciative audience. The department hopes that this will be the first in a series of such concerts sponsored by SAMRO each year. Michael Mosoeu Moerane (1909-1981), awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Africa in 1941, was the first black South African to gain such a degree. In this concert, we heard instrumental arrangements of two songs, Della and Sylvia. “ [Full Post

Michael Mosoeu Moerane is profiled at The Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) explains in its biography how Moerane came to compose Fatse la heso, which he wrote during the period of White minority rule: “Moerane was required to present a composition exercise in order to complete his degree, and so composed the symphonic poem, Fatse la heso (My Country), which he completed in 1941, graduating that same year. Three years later, in November 1944, the work was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in two separate studio performances under the baton of Clifford Curzon, one broadcast by the BBC's Home Service, and the other by its African Service. Fatse la heso was subsequently championed in New York and Paris by the pioneering black American conductor, Dean Dixon.”

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