Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.


Whatungarongaro te tangata toi tu whenua, Op. 21

a suite for orchestra

Year:  2012   ·  Duration:  12m 30s
Instrumentation:  22*2*2*; 4331; timp., 2 perc.; harp; strings | (Perc: snare drum, cymbal)

Year:  2012
Duration:  12m 30s
Instrumentation  22*2*2*; 4331; timp., 2 per...

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1-10

See details ➔


To borrow items or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at


The title of the work is a Māori saying which depicts a relationship with the land “whenua”. When looking for phrases which described the narrative of the music, the one that most reflected the music was in Māori. The translation is “As man disappears from sight, the land remains”.

The music depicts the holistic values, and the utmost respect of Papatuanuku, the mother of the earth. It is in the late neo-romantic idiom. The string and wind sections portray aspects of the New Zealand landscape and landscapes generally. There are elements of the string writing which are reminiscences of the composer’s childhood and an English landscape. The brass and percussion sections reflect mankind’s destructive and militaristic tendencies harking back to Captain Hamilton and the Māori wars. The fugal section represents man’s complexity and desire for structure and order, and contains musical references to both Mozart and Beethoven. As the fugal elements are worked through, the main theme in the strings returns, which in turn leads to a coda where wind section representing the earth or land, is reiterated but slightly changed by the ravages of war and the effects mankind on their environment, so; As man disappears from sight, the land ‘transformed’ remains.

Commissioned note

Opus Orchestra commissioned this work for their 21st Anniversary Concert

Difficulty note

Suitable for community or professional orchestra

Performance history

20 Jul 2012: Performed by Opus Orchestra, conducted by Peter Walls, at the Academy of Performing Arts in Hamilton.