Tuesday, July 26, 2011

'African Suite' of Fela Sowande is Available as Download from Naxos.com

[Photos show African Suite for Strings of Fela Sowande in three versions. TOP: CD, now in mp3 format, by CBC Vancouver Orchestra; Mario Bernardi, Conductor; CBC Records SMCD 5135 (1994) MIDDLE: LP record by The New Symphony Strings; Trevor Harvey, conductor; Decca LM 4547 (1952) BOTTOM: Naxos mp3 version of Decca LP]

The Nigerian composer Fela Sowande (1905-1987) is featured at AfriClassical.com. The Director of Orchestras at a Texas high school is interested in obtaining printed music for Fela Sowande's African Suite. An inquiry was sent to our associate Michael S. Wright of the U.K., who responds:

“I have remastered the 1950’s Decca recordings but have not published yet. There may be issues. However, Naxos have also done these and are available to download

The recording has flaws as does the performance but it beats anything else around including this version

I am not aware that it is in print but have circulated to people who may know where to find scores and parts. Yes, the music is really great and I wish you all chance of performing this and perhaps other works by this composer including the Folk Symphony.

Program of Decca LP and Naxos Download
African Suite
1. I. Joyful Day: Allegro giocoso 00:07:03
2. II. Nostalgia: Andante 00:03:54
3. IV. Onipe: Andante; con tenerezza 00:02:50
4. III. Lullaby: Andante cantabile e sostenuto 00:06:39
5. V. Akinla: Allegro non troppo 00:03:33
The Negro in Sacred Idiom
6. No. 1 Go Down Moses 00:06:48
7. No. 2. Yoruba Lament 00:05:48
8. No. 3. Joshua 00:02:41
9. No. 4. Kyrie 00:12:47
10. No. 5. Obangiji 00:02:52

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