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Published: 16 October 2021

By Andy Ross

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Messe de Savanes and Missa Luba

In the middle of the last century, a recording of an African choir became an influential hit across the globe.

Missa Luba may be familiar to many of us but there is another setting of the Mass, Messe des Savanes, that is less well-known. Both of these are available on a vinyl pressing by Philips, France that has been recently added to the collection. The YouTube clip below is of the Sanctus from Messe des Savanes and the whole recording is available here. It is not the best recording but it does capture a moment of transformation in the music sung in churches across the world. The Missa Luba started a movement for similar settings that resulted in Missa Criolla and Missa Flamenca, although its success eclipsed that of the Messe des Savanes.