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Awa Herea (Braided Rivers)

a song cycle for soprano and piano

Year:  1993   ·  Duration:  22m

Year:  1993
Duration:  22m

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1-4.

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This song cycle for soprano and piano has texts by the composer in Maori and English.

"Awa Herea memorably evokes the physical appearance of symbolic significance of these braided rivers... cosmic weather-driven energy." (Covell, Sydney Morning Herald).

"Its pace was shrewdly varied and the music encompassed a range of styles - from sung declamation to florid lyricism - without incongruity." (Jack, Independent).

"The cycle displays all the characteristics of her [Gillian Whitehead's] mature work. The vocal line is at once exultant and contemplative, the piano writing incisive or lulling; the formal shaping novel yet accessible. It is a memorable piece, filled with the energetic spirit of the natural world and finding through that spirit its own serenity."

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Tracy Chadwell, soprano, with assistance from Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council (now Creative New Zealand) and the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Contents note

Seven sections: Vocalise; Karakia; Awa Herea; The Berries; Lake Ianthe; Scale and perspective; Awa Herea (conclusion)

Text note

Texts by Gillian Whitehead and Keri Kaa (translations)

Performance history

14 Mar 2002: Performed by Helen Medlyn and Rachel Thomson at the Ilott Theatre, in Wellington

Performed by Mere Boynton (soprano) at the Composing Womens' Festival in 1995

Performed by Tracey Chadwell (soprano) and Pamela Lidiard (piano)

Performed by Mere Boynton (soprano) and Craig Newsome (piano)

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