Morena Tlake (2013)

Transcription of Michael Mosoeu Moerane
Published in: 


First performance: Thursday 13 February 2014, 13h10; Fismer Hall, University of Stellenbosch Konservatorium, Neethling Street, Stellenbosch, South Africa; Michael Blake pianoperformance details.

Programme note

Sotho composer Michael Mosoeu Moerane (1904-1981) must rank as one of the great South African composers of the 20th century. While living in the Eastern Cape, he completed his music degree through Unisa in the 1940s, studying composition with Austrian émigré Friedrich Hartmann, head of music at Rhodes. His symphonic tone poem Fatse la Hêso (My Country) received considerable attention in Britain and America, and of course very belatedly in South Africa, but his other instrumental music, including a set of piano pieces inspired by Schumann’s Kinderszenen and titled Sunny South, is not extant. He found his metier as a choral composer and conductor, and like many of his colleagues he may well have recycled these pieces as choral works, since they would have a much greater currency in that form. Bearing this in mind, I tried reversing the process in this transcription of Morena Tlake, originally for six-part choir but with material strongly suggesting instrumental origins.