- for orchestra with mezzo-soprano, tenor and soprano (Maori karanga) soloists
- 10' 00"
- 2,2,2,2; 4,3,2,(1),1; karanga, soprano, baritone; 6 percussionists, timp., hp; strings
- one movement
The thing that struck me about Charm when I first read it, was the wonderful concept of the spirit of the land – te wairua o te whenua. The land is our mother, she cares for all of her children. We have all at some point in time been a stranger to this land, and as visitors, we have all been welcomed by her.
Charm is a poem from the mid 19th century, a time when all Europeans were recent visitors to the land. It is likely, however that this poem was a Maori charm originally, translated into English by settlers, suggesting that Maori also felt the same way about Aotearoa.
We now live in a unique multi-cultural society. Our many and varied contemporary art forms reflect this fact, and display something that could only be created here. This piece is a recognition of the similarities and differences of all of the cultures of New Zealand. It is a musical analogy to my idea that cultures can co-exist without overshadowing or changing one other. And finally, it is a musical celebration that we all have ended up here on the same soil.
- Text Note:
- The text, 'Charm', an anonymous 19th Century poem is taken from '100 New Zealand Poems', edited by Bill Manhire and translated into Maori by Tamatai Ngarimu
- Commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for the opening of Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of NZ
|14 Feb 1998||
Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Young with Mere Boynton (karanga), Virginia-Marie Stack (mezzo), Peter de Blois (tenor) at Te Papa Tongarewa/The Museum of New Zealand
|Kenneth Young New Zealand Symphony Orchestra|
|28 Aug 2008||
Performed by Simon O’Neill (tenor), Haley Maxwell (Maori Karanga), Deborah Wai-Kapohe (soprano), Li Wei (cello)and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra