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recital cello

ABEL SELAOCOE

cello medley

One of classical music’s most exciting new voices, South African cellist Abel Selaocoe brings western classical and traditional African music alongside each other, singing as well as playing. For his Verbier debut he performs his own compositions and arrangements together with Baroque works.

Programme

ABEL SELAOCOE (1992-)
Hlokomela
The harp of King David (Ethiopia)
Kologo (Ghana)

TRADITIONAL
Mateso (Tanzania), arr. A. Selaocoe

Interval

MARIN MARAIS (1656-1728)
Voices of Bantu / Les Voix Humaines (arr. A. Selaocoe)

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major BWV 1010

ABEL SELAOCOE (1992-)
Ditshomo Tsa Barolong /Tales of the Barolong Tribe

The first half of tonight’s programme features Selaocoe’s own works, inspired by his own African heritage. Of these, perhaps the closest to home for him is his radiant opener, Hlokomela, which in Sesotho – an official South African language – means both ‘take care’ and ‘take care of others’. Published in 1701, Marin Marais’s warmly intimate and reflective Les Voix Humaines was written for the cello’s precursor, the viol. With its title, Marais was honouring the instrument’s closeness to the human voice, and with Selaocoe the piece now flows effortlessly into a traditional South African hymn. JS Bach’s solo cello suites were as groundbreaking in their early 1720s day as Selaocoe’s works are now, being probably Germany’s earliest solo works for cello, and crammed with polyphonic complexities. The dance movements following No. 4’s Prelude are an Allemande, a Courante, a Sarabande, two Bourées, and a joyous concluding Gigue. Joy is also the key word surrounding Selaocoe’s Ditshomo Tsa Barolong /Tales of the Barolong Tribe, which received its world premiere this year in London.

Media
Abel Selaocoe African Voices change makers CNN