• In forming and guiding the Troubadours du Roi Baudouin, Father Guido Haazen chose to add a new and marvelous chapter to the long history of African influence in music. The curiously irreverent jazz that was played at the New Orleans funerals is indebted to this influence; the poignant spirituals of the plantations recall their melancholy roots; the sambas and the marchas composed for the Mardi Gras Carnivals in Rio de Janeiro pulsate with similar rhythms; and today's gospel music strongly reflects its African source.
• The musical richness of the environment was immediately apparent to Father Haazen upon arriving in the Congo in 1953. Soon he had assembled forty-five boys, from the ages of nine to fourteen and fifteen teachers, into a choir (with a percussion section added) that has since gained world renown as the Troubadours du Roi Baudouin.
• Christmas In the Congo is a sequel to El's best-selling Missa Luba – a mass sung in pure Congolese style by Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin (ACMEM136CD), a recording that includes their famous Sanctus, the choral theme that was Malcolm McDowell's personal selection which featured to such magical effect in Lindsay Anderson's surrealistic, uncompromising and confrontational 1968 film masterpiece If....
• In some countries today, the spirit of Christmas lasts only as long as the season. But from the first song of the Congolese Choir, there is no doubt that their permeating passion is a permanent state of being. In other countries, the dominating mood today is restraint. The Troubadours do not forget that Christmas is a celebration and these songs fully restore the original joyfulness.
• This edition also features Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa as told by the inimitable Eartha Kitt, once described by Orson Welles as "the most exciting woman in the world”. Eartha reads folk tales from southern and central Africa; from the tribes of the Ashanti, the Masai, the Hottentots, from the Efik-Ibibio, Baila, Bavenda and Bakongo. Myths without sentimentality that often reflect the harshness of the environment, a sometimes savage world where one cannot assume the hero will triumph or that wrongs will always be righted.
LES TROUBADOURS DU ROI BAUDOUIN – CHRISTMAS IN THE CONGO
1. SIKU KUU (HOLY NIGHT)
4. ABE WANENE
7. TAMBWE DISHINDA
8. LUTUKU INA MUDINGA
9. OH SIEKENI WEE MAMA
11. EMELINA EE
12. SIKU MOJA
13. MWENDELE BAKI BINDA
14. LELO NGUBA
16. WA BUTA
FOLK TALES OF THE TRIBES OF AFRICA / AS TOLD BY EARTHA KITT
17. THE ELEPHANT AND THE TORTOISE (HOTTENTOT)
18. HOW A HUNTER OBTAINED MONEY FROM HIS FRIENDS THE LEOPARD, THE GOAT, THE BUSH-CAT, AND THE COCK, AND HOW HE GOT OUT OF REPAYING THEM (EFIK-IBIBIO)
19. THE WOMAN AND CHILDREN OF THE SYCAMORE TREE (MASAI)
20. HOW IT CAME ABOUT THAT CHILDREN WERE FIRST WHIPPED (ASHANTI)
21. THE CHILD AND THE EAGLE (BAILA)
22. THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL WHO HAD NO TEETH (BAVENDA)
23. THE SMART GIRL AND THE FOOL (BAKONGO)
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