Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Anglo-Boer War is archived

Although the recording equipment of the SABC was not there when it actually happened, the Anglo Boer War can still be experienced through the numerous recordings available in the SABC Radio Archives, both in English and Afrikaans.  Eyewitness accounts, discussions and more will give those interested an interesting behind the scenes picture of the Anglo Boer War.  A concise catalogue of material available about the war has just been compiled and can be seen at

-Retha Buys, SABC Radio Archives

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gordon Beasley and His Orchestra & “Manuel’s Travelogue was re-mastered and prepared by Audio Restoration.

Gordon Beasley was born in Winchester, England,  where he also received his early musical training. After war service with the R.A.F. he became a professional musician, and in 1947 emigrated to South Africa. Here he was soon in demand as an accompanist and solo pianist, and in 1960 took up an appointment as the SABC’S first music producer.

After a highly successful career at the SABC, he retired in 1981 to devote himself to arranging and conducting. In this field his vast experience as a producer gave him a grasp of orchestration and sensitivity to the needs of the soloist, that resulted in the sort of magic you will hear on his record.

Manuel Escorcio was born in Maputo, Mozambique in 1949. Possessor of a wicked sense of humor as well as degrees in both theology and music, he has achieved tremendous success in both light and serious music, including being co-winner of the Samro Music prize. He has also won a Sarie Award. Manuel’s innate musicality and glorious voice are here combined with his ability to get to the heart of any genre of music. From a Lully Aria to Welsh Folk song to Neapolitan song. Listen to this LP and you will hear what makes Manuels one of South Africa’s favourite singers.

Davis of the White Rock:  a beautiful pastoral woodwind introduction ushers in this gentle, poetic Welsh folk song.

An Eriskay Love Lilt: echoes of the Hebrides: The opening gaelic lines with harp alone, then a tender accompaniment to one of the loveliest of Kennedy-Fraser’s collection.

Ciribiribin romantic Italy: Florid Orchestration and just the right amount of passion from Manuel.

The Donkey Serenade: witty orchestration and a lesson in the art of singing with one’s tongue firmly in one’s cheek!

Fenesta Che Lucive: sad Neapolitan dialect song: The lighted window tells the singer of the death of his lover.

Wiegenlied: dreamy, tender treatment of this well-known lullaby.

This recording was done by Clive Gaunt, at P1 Cape Town, December 1985 with Dave Williams as the producer.