Programme

Guest Curator: Alex Taylor

Waerenga-ā-Hika names the East Coast pā that government troops besieged in 1865. The defenders were adherents of the new Pai Mārire religion, which opposed British sovereignty and resisted colonial forces throughout the 1860s. This tour de force arrangement by Robert Wiremu of Tuirina Wehi’s classic waiata brings together different vocal styles in both te reo Māori and English, mirroring the syncretic nature of the new religion. Lilburn’s setting of Denis Glover’s Sings Harry tells the story of an idiosyncratic New Zealander, a man of many voices and outlooks, from grumpy to gracious; to me the penultimate song, Flowers of the Sea, is one of Lilburn’s finest achievements. Carol to St Stephen is a deserved classic of the New Zealand choral repertoire, spinning medieval chant into a phase masterpiece that epitomises Jack Body’s stylistic whimsy. Craigie Hill is a poignant collaborative work by poet-violinist Keir GoGwilt and composer Celeste Oram, reimagining the Scottish folk love song in GoGwilt’s inimitable Starling form. Reuben Jelleyman’s Variations and Ross Harris’s In Memory Judith Clark provide short nostalgic pianistic interludes, and the programme ends with Dudley Benson’s epic a capella ‘Kiwi’, combining Dudley’s quirky alt-pop sensibilities with Hirini Melbourne’s original composition, the Anglican choral tradition, and evocations of birdsong.

Tuirina Wehi arr. Robert Wiremu: Waerenga a Hika
Performed by the New Zealand Youth Choir conducted by David SquireReuben JelleymanVariations 
Performed by Andrew Beer (violin) and Sarah Watkins (piano)
Recorded on 11 Frames by Rattle Records

Douglas LilburnSings Harry
Performed by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Gillian Bibby (piano)

Jack BodyCarol to St Stephen 
Performed by the Indiana University Conductors’ Chorus, conducted by Jonathan Palmer

Ross HarrisIn Memory Judith Clark
Performed by Emma Sayers (piano)

Celeste Oram / Keir GoGwilt: Craigie Hill
Performed by Keir GoGwilt (violin)

Hirini Melbourne / Dudley Benson: Kiwi
Performed by Dudley Benson and choir

 

Approximate running time: 53 minutes