This wonderful recital piece for 12 part (SSSAAATTTBBB) choir has been performed all over the world and is one of the composer’s best-known works.
It was written in 1974 as part of a set entitled O Magnum Mysterium and first perfromed by the Dorian Choir under Peter Godfrey at the 1975 Three Choirs Festival in England. Since then it has been recorded by choirs in New Zealand and the United States.
The piece is essentially simple in its form using delayed overlaying if the voice parts to startling effect. The overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit, the gestation in the womb and the birth of Jesus can be clearly heard in the parameters of the work.
The Love Song of Rangipouri is based on a Maori chant recorded at Makara, near Wellington in 1963. It tells how a fairy chief, Te Rangipouri, won and lost the first human woman to ever reach New Zealand’s shores.