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E moe te Ra

for SSA and piano

Year:  2007   ·  Duration:  2m 45s

Year:  2007
Duration:  2m 45s

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton


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This waiata (Maori song) was written around 1918 by Erima Maewa Kaihau (1879-1941). She was also involved in the complex gestation of the song Now is the Hour.

E moe te Ra is very much in the late Victorian tradition of song writing and owes little to traditional Maori song forms or styles. The English 'translation' in the score begins: 'Shadows of evening bring tender thoughts of thee beloved...'. The music has an unusual phrase structure and some unexpected harmonic turns. In this arrangement some re-harmonisation has been used, particularly in the first half. The second half fellows the original harmonies more closely. Rather than set the English of the printed music, the Maori words are sung through twice, with a short introduction and coda.

Commissioned note

This arrangement was written at the request of choral director David Gordon of Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

Text note

Text by Maewa Kaihau

Performance history

16 Nov 2014: The Three Mezzos: Homespun Harmonies

Performed by St Cecilia Singers (Diocesan School for Girls), conducted by David Gordon in Auckland