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Olga Jablonski

Maori Songs and opera arias by KIRI TE KANAWA

Monday, April 25, 2011




Today we have the soprano Kiri Te Kanawa singing first, a selection of Maori songs from her native New Zealand, and then various opera arias.

The MÄ�ori are the  indigenous polynesian people of NEW ZEALAND.When 18th century travelers from Europe first ventured into the country, they discovered a rich musical heritage among the local Maori inhabitants. Over many centuries of total isolation from other musical cultures, Maori people had developed a diverse variety of chants in complex rhythms used for ceremonial and domestical occasions.

These songs are the background to her childhood in New Zealand which most people there know.

Maori song classics frequently cannot be ascribed to a single composer. As with troubadours in other times and places, Maori singers added their own embellishments and interpretations in performance until a song evolved.

Contemporary Maori entertainment presents a fascinating mix of material from the ancient traditional repertoire, combined with the tune structure and rhythms learned from European diatonic scales in the post colonial era. The songs develop a new shape from the ancient style now with wider intervals, extensive legato, complex harmonies, a much more expansive vocal range and the use of accompanying instruments. A particular fondness developed for the ¾ waltz time.


  1. Tarakihi (The Locust)
  2. Hine e Hine
  3. E Papa (Titi torea/E Aue)
  4. Hoea Ra


For the next part of the show we would be listening Kiri te Kanawa singing opera arias by the two Italian composers, Puccini and then Verdi with the London Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by John Prithchard: after all, arias provide the best opportunity for musical self indulgence. So, enjoy.

  1. Puccini: Tosca - Vissi D'Arte
  2. Puccini: Madama Butterfly - Un Bel Dì
  3. Puccini: Gianni Schicchi - Oh! Mio Babbino Caro
  4. Puccini: Manon Lescaut - In Quelle Trine Morbide
  5. Puccini: La Bohème - Quando M'En Vo
  6. Puccini: La Rondine - Chi Il Bel Sogno Di Doretta
  7. Se come voi from Act I of Le Villi
  8. Tu che le vanità conoscesti from Don Carlo
  9. Timor di me - D'amor sull'ali rosee from Il Trovatore
  10. È strano - ah, fors' è lui from La Traviata
  11. Ore dolci e divine from La rondine
  12. Ah! Fuggi il traditor from Don Giovanni, K. 527
  13. In quali eccessi... Mi tradì quell' alma ingrata from Don Giovanni, K. 527
  14. Der kleine Sandmann bin ich from Hänsel und Gretel
  15. Pie Jesu from Requiem, Op. 9

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