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These beautiful poems of Charles Brasch were set to music in 1994.
Commissioned by John Rimmer for the Karheinz company, with assistance from Creative New Zealand, they depict some of the most pristine landscapes of coastal New Zealand. With the exception of the beach settlement at Oaro, which is in the Kaikora region, the texts describe the coastal areas of the northern tip of the South Island. Onekaka (which in Maori means burning sands) is in Golden Bay. Tarakohe and Totaranui are both beaches in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park.
The poetry was originally set for baritone, clarinet in B flat, violoncello and piano. In this version the clarinet is replaced by violin with some minor transpositions. The settings illustrate the words, capturing with musical gesture both the ancient resonance of these once unpeopled places and the dissolution of human presence over time.
David Griffiths Notes taken from Ahi - The Ogen Trio, Atoll Records ACD108
Commissioned by John Rimmer for Karlheinz Company with assistance from Creative New Zealand
I. Wharf at Onekaka
II. Onekaka Beach
III. Rocks at Oaro
IV. Coast at Tarakohe
V. Dark Stream
VI. Trees at Totoranui
Poems by Charles Brasch
02 Oct 1994: Performed by David Griffiths (baritone), Nicola May (clarinet), David Jenkins (cello), Christine Cuming (piano); University of Auckland International Music Day Concert
07 Apr 2009: Contemporary Visions 18
02 Oct 2009: Bach and Griffiths