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The Pumpkin Massacre

for strings

Year:  1987   ·  Duration:  12m
Instrumentation:  twelve solo strings: 4 violins I, 3 violins II, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass

Year:  1987
Duration:  12m
Instrumentation  twelve solo strings: 4 viol...

Composer:   Lyell Cresswell

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1

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Te Puoho, friend and ally of Te Rauparaha, invited the Rangitane chief Mahuri and his people to a feast at Kukutauaki in return for previous kindnesses. Kukutauaki stood in the middle of an area hostile to the Rangitane people. On his way to the feast Mahuri was warned of the danger of entering territory controlled by the powerful and dangerous Te Rauparaha whereupon he replied: "It is the boast of Te Puoho that he will not have his forehead smeared with blood." After the feast at which a new kind of food, the pumpkin, was introduced, the guests were invited back to Maimea, at the mouth of the Waikanae River, and massacred – most likely at the prompting of Te Rauparaha. This work was composed in 1987, commissioned and first performed by the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Jennings. It has been reviewed as, "sheer instrumental drama launched on a sea of seething, trilling strings."

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra

Performance history

01 May 1989: Performed by the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra conducted by Anthony Jennings

08 Feb 2008: Ensemble Ruspoli

09 Dec 2008: Contemporary Visions 10

14 Sep 2010: Hot Young Strings in the Hutt

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