Published: Phillips Digital Classics 426 836-2
Muungano National Choir (Kenya)
Boniface Mganga, director
This reviewer has enjoyed the music of the Missa Luba since
first being exposed to it on the album "Missa Luba and Christmas in the
Congo" while in seminary some years ago.
The Muungano National Choir of Kenya under the direction of
Boniface Mganga has done a wonderful job of recording this piece. The recording
is of the highest quality and so is the musicianship.
Missa Luba was written before the Second Vatican Council
when Latin was still the official language of the Roman Rite in Africa. This
setting combines the ancient Latin text with modified African rhythms and
polyphony in a manner that seems to bring out the best in both.
This could be used by educators in several ways. The rhythms
and polyphony of the African settings are directly accessible to all ages.
Students can see how Latin was used in this adaptation of a musical form from
Africa. The tempo has been reduced so that the typical African sounds become
more like that of Roman chant. The examples of African music which follow can
be used to compare and contrast with those of Missa Luba. One can note the
difference in using indigenous languages when it comes to indigenous music.