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Beauty of the singers celebrated

"You Are Beautiful" features repertoire from our recent 2019 Concert Series. This is a celebration of our singers, the voices that brings Franco Prinsloo Composer/Conductor's music to life. A big thank you to two special people: Alli Heyns for the recordings and Marissa Labuschagne for our beautiful cover design. Scroll down to listen and read more...

1. Jonah's Prayer – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

Composed by Franco Prinsloo, this is a setting of the evocative prayer of Jonah, as written in the King James Bible. God instructs Jonah to travel to the great city of Nineveh. Jonah has to warn the inhabitants that, if they do not turn away from their wicked behaviour, disaster will befall them. However, Jonah does not listen to the voice of God and attempts to flee from Him by sailing over the sea to another city. A great storm strikes the ship that Jonah is traveling in. He confesses that it is his presence on the ship that caused the storm. At his request he is thrown overboard after which the storm subsides. A "great fish" appointed by God swallows Jonah. Prinsloo uses choral extended technique to imitate to song of a whale and brings the prayer to a hauntingly beautiful conclusion through the innovative use of soundscapes that captures the imagination.

Missa Brevis "San Marco" – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

This short mass was composed by Franco Prinsloo to be premiered by the Vox Chamber Choir in the world famous Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy. Each of the four movements is dedicated to one of the the four voice groups in the choir. The work is a delicate emotive choral piece with rich harmonies and sweet melodic content.

2. Kyrie Eleison - Lord have mercy (Solo: Stefan Venter);

3. Gloria - Glory to God in the Highest;

4. Sanctus - Sing to the Lord;

5. Agnus Dei - Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Solo: Tiaan Ras).

6. Kruis van Liefde: IV. Vroue van Jerusalem (Live) – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

The fourth movement from "Kruis van Liefde", an Easter oratorio composed by Franco Prinsloo. The text was written by Prof. Hans du Plessis and Prof. Bernard Odendaal form the North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa. The full oratorio is an hour long choral work depicting the crucifixion of Christ through original Afrikaans poetry. The piece is written for chorus, organ, marimba and percussion.

Listen to Vox Chamber Choir perform "Kruis van Liefde: IV. Vroue van Jerusalem" live at the fantastic ZK Mathews Concert Hall at UNISA in Pretoria:

7. /Xam-songs (/han≠kass’o): II. Slaapliedjie – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

The famous Afrikaans poet Antjie Krog translated a collection of /Xam-poetry into Afrikaans in her book "Die Sterre se Tsau". The poetry forms part of a very unique archive of stories and verse depicting the /Xam and !kun language and culture, collected by linguists Lloyd and Bleek in the late 1800s. These rare manuscripts give us a glimpse into the lost language and culture of some of South Africa's most ancient groups the /Xam and the !kun.

Listen to a live video here:

8. Windharp – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

This work was originally commissioned by Marietjie Martinson of the Senior Choir of Laerskool Gene Louw, in Cape Town, South Africa. The original three-part work for treble voices was arranged by the composer for the Vox Chamber Choir in 2019. Poetry of Charles Fryer was set to a folk-like melody by Franco Prinsloo. It captures the text emotively and enlightens the meaning of the poem through a pathway of meandering melodies and tight haunting harmonies. The harp-like piano accompaniment supports and pulsates through this meditative work, enhancing the continuous metaphor of wind in the piece.

"Ghoera-lierdere" – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

A collection of choral pieces based on verse from Hennie Aucamp's collection of poems based on South African mythology called "Ghoera". The Ghoera is a traditional South African bow instrument used by the /Xam, Khoisan and more.

9. Ghoera-Liedere: I. Die Maan

“Kaggen het sy skoen gegooi

Hoog in die hemeltrans;

en dis die maan wat nou versigtig

van wolk tot wolk loop saans.”

*Kaggen is a Mantis, a deity and folk hero of the /Xam people. He is a trickster god who can shape-shift usually taking the form of a Mantis or Eland. In this work, Kaggen throws his shoe into the universe. The moon can now walk from cloud to cloud every evening across the sky.

10. Ghoera-Liedere: II. Die Sterre

“Son slaap onder 'n kombers

so oud soos die heelal,

met honderd duisend gaatjies

waardeur die sonlig val.

Die gaatjies noem ons sterre,

wat groot kan wees of klein,

soos aandster, dagster, Sewe Susters

wat in die donker skyn.”

In this poem the sun sleeps under a big blanket. Through the little holes in the blanket, tiny rays of light shine. This becomes the stars.

11. Mag die bome groen bly - Musical setting by Franco Prinsloo and Netanja Brink / Arrangement for choir: Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

“Mag die bome groen bly

en die sterre wit,

en mag daar altyd mense wees

wat mekaar sonder skaamte

in die oë kan kyk -

want die lewe is 'n asem lank

en die sterre op die Anderplek donker –”

- Breyten Breytenbach

This piece was the prescribed work for the 2016 ATKV Applous competition for Mixed High School Choirs. The work can be seen as a “blessing” and speaks of the the fleeting nature of life. The repeating transparent melody weaves the text together in a meditative strikingly uncomplicated musical flow.

12. Lotus (Live) – Franco Prinsloo (1987-)

Vox Chamber Choir, in collaboration with the Department of Afrikaans and Theory of Literature from UNISA - The University of South Africa, premiered Franco Prinsloo’s commissioned work,"LOTUS", on 08 September 2019, in celebration of Breyten Breytenbach's 80th birthday on the 16th of September 2019.

This special work was commissioned by the highly acclaimed violist, Elmarie Van Der Vyver, for solo viola, choir and percussion. Vox Chamber Choir, together with Elmarie Van Der Vyver breathed life into Prinsloo's contemporary chaconne/mandala. "L O T U S", a poem by Breyten Breytenbach, was set to music by composer, Franco Prinsloo. The work is inspired by the style of a classical chaconne, but takes the form of a repetitive mantra which flows through the choir and the viola to create a meditative chant. A repeating basso continue underlines this meditative narrative.

Interested? Get the full album at all streaming platforms!


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