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No. 55 (June 1966)
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RECORDS

SONGS OF MAORI YOUTH
Kiwi Stereo SLC 002; Mono LC-27;
12in. 33 1–3 LP

I thoroughly enjoyed this record. It features the combined choirs of St Joseph's Maori Girls' College and Hato Paora (St Paul's) College for Maori Boys. The cover notes say “… their performances will give hours of joy to all those who appreciate the musical gifts of the Maori people.” This, I found, was not an unduly effusive description. There are two versions of the record—one recorded in stereo and the other in monoaural. One does not need stereo to appreciate the excellence of the performance but stereo undoubtedly gives greater depth and richness.

There is plenty of variety. The record features two songs of greeting, a haka, four action songs, a chant, two hymns, two love songs, the St Paul's school song, and concludes with four examples of sacred polyphony sung in Latin.

A few comments on individual items are in order. The haka taparahi Mai Ara … is attacked in rather ragged fashion and yet from the sound viewpoint it is very good. The stereo in particular reproduces well the swish of the piupiu and the crack of hands on body. Kua Hanga is the Hato Paoro school song and was specially composed by one of the Brothers who teach there. I am not a great fan for piano accompaniment to Maori music. However, this does not in any way detract from some very pleasant part singing and a most delightful and catchy tune. The two love songs Te Marama and He Wawata are a little pedestrian in their tempo. There is a very nice duet in the middle of He Wawata. Whakatata and some of the other action songs are marred somewhat by jazzy accompaniments but the singing is good and the tempi brisk. The combined choirs' version of Huai is one of the best I have heard of this oft-abused little chant. It also makes one wish to hear the choirs singing more of this type of Maori music and less of action songs to tunes such as Never On Sunday. I spoke of this matter in a recent review of the St. Stephen's/Queen Victoria record and I would like to make a further plea that these schools—it is not an exaggeration to call them ‘cradles of Maori culture’—relegate items sung to the tunes of recent pop songs to the very bottom of their repertoires.

There is little to say about the polyphonic items except to commend the high standard of the singing. One thought however … action songs are not usually appreciated by many of those who care for polyphony and vice versa, although I am not suggesting that either type of music is subordinate to the other in musical merit. However, I felt that only one plainsong items to illustrate the versatility of these choirs would have been sufficient for this record. The polyphony deserves a record on its own.

Mention is made in the cover notes of the difficulties which were experienced in bringing together these two choirs, for the schools are separated by over a hundred miles. Only two rehearsals were possible before the recording was made. This makes the resultant record even more praiseworthy. Let us hope that at some future time another joint recording venture by these two schools will be possible.

THE MAORI FLUTE
Kiwi EA-120 7in. 45 EP

This is a singing-speaking record featuring Inia Te Wiata. It is subtitled The Hinemoa Legend in Song and Story. Side one features a specially adapted version of the legend of Hinemoa and Tutanekai from A. W. Reed's Myths and Legends of Maoriland. This is easily the best of Kiwi's attempts to feature Maori legends on record. Te Wiata's reading of the legend is rather low-key to begin with but with the arrival of Hinemoa at Mokoia the story is brought vividly to life by lnia's clever imitation of the voices of the various characters.

Side two begins with New Zealand songwriter Willow Macky's plaintive The Maori Flute. Inia Te Wiata's singing is hauntingly evocative. The accompaniment is by the Cheeseman Strings with solo flautist Cyril Haworth. The Maori Flute is followed by Kingi Tahiwi's Tirohia ki Mokoia—which is more usually called The Hinemoa Chant.

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Inia Te Wiata speaks a short introduction and then sings the chant without accompaniment.

Inia Te Wiata is a fine singer and on this record he shows himself to be no mean storyteller.

KIRI SINGS ‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC’
Kiwi SA-50 7in. 45

Kiri Te Kanawa's fans are legion and most people who have seen the film enjoy the music from Sound of Music. On this record Kiri sings Climb every Mountain and My Favourite Things. Both songs are accompanied by a small ensemble. Kiri's singing is always pleasant to listen to, but somehow she seems to put too little effort into this disc. Yet perhaps it is unfair to blame the singer. The actual quality of the recording seems to be lacking in depth and vibrancy. However, despite this, if you are a fan for both Kiri and The Sound of Music this is a record that you will probably enjoy.

Efforts Rewarded

Tetley Road Pa has a new meeting house, thanks to six months' part-time work by the small community of 14 families.

Mr T. Walters, elder of the Ranginui tribe, said that the success of the project had been achieved through working in unity.

The new meeting house of concrete block, concrete panel and translucent sheet construction, is built on the site of the old meeting house, which was demolished about seven years ago.

Bishop Constitutes Hui

The Bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt Rev. W. N. Panapa, and the Bishop of Auckland, the Rt Rev. E. A. Gowing, attended the Anglican Hui Amorangi at Peria last March. The Hui began at 2 p.m. on Friday, 25 March and finished at mid-day on Sunday. It was constituted on Saturday morning by Bishop Panapa. A feature of the Hui was an address, God is Challenging Us, by the Rev. T. Buttle.