Polydor presents Horst Wende and his orchestra in “Africana”, a collection of tunes from that mysterious, exciting continent – and all “made in Africa”.

Among the instruments used by Horst Wende in these catchy arrangements one can hear the unmistakable sound of African penny-whistles and drums so popular with both the white and the coloured populations.

Quite what the ‘coloured population’ would really have made of this selection of colonial ditties, performed by a German orchestra to boot, will probably never be known.  Anyone hoping for an emphasis on traditional native rhythms will be sorely disappointed, and as for those new-fangled styles like Rai or Juju.. forget it!

Still, “Alibama” is  “a favourite folk-song of the Cape coloured people that dates back to the time when the American sailing vessel “Alibama” called at Cape Town”, and Wende’s self-composed “Africano” is “a typically African tune based on native melodies”.

Apparently Horst Wende was studying music at the conservatory in Leipzig when his career was ‘interrupted’ by the outbreak of war.  His political allegiance at the time are not recorded in the sleeve notes, though clearly he had a genuine interest in native musics – according to his Wiki page, he was also Roberto Delgado who, you might remember, was entertaining me yesterday with his South American repertoire.

Published in: on November 24, 2009 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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