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Maori Songs
Kiri Te Kanawa
Maori Songs
Genres: World Music, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Opera fans are bound to be disappointed, but almost everyone else will find something to like in this easy-listening, simple, direct, sometimes tuneful and treacly, sometimes rhythmically strong music, performed here by Da...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Kiri Te Kanawa
Title: Maori Songs
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: EMI Classics
Release Date: 10/5/1999
Genres: World Music, Pop, Classical
Styles: Australia & New Zealand, Easy Listening
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724355682826, 0724355682857, 724355682857

Opera fans are bound to be disappointed, but almost everyone else will find something to like in this easy-listening, simple, direct, sometimes tuneful and treacly, sometimes rhythmically strong music, performed here by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and an assortment of other singers and players. Dame Kiri is part Maori, and this music returns her to her roots: Lovely melodies abound, some interesting accompaniments are to be found, and a glimpse into a world we rarely get to see is most welcome. But classical music aficionados will walk away a bit hungry--this is world music, this is folk music, but this is not operatic in any way. Te Kanawa uses an easy-flowing, "pop" sound and is closely miked; at times it barely sounds like her at all. But for what it is, it certainly pleases, and fans of this soprano will be interested in hearing this side of her. There's enjoyable music here, but those allergic to sentiment be warned--some of this music makes "Feelings" seem cynical. --Robert Levine

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CD Reviews

Total Heaven
Stacey Martin | New Zealand | 11/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First off - there is NO and I repeat NO OTHER SINGER in this world who could make those songs sound so emotional and beautiful. The love Kiri has for these songs comes through so clearly, it's her best album EVER for emotional imput! I started off, of course, with the first track, Hine e Hine. I felt quite tearful because of the way Kiri expresses herself, then I smiled my way through the battle songs (Tarakihi is magic!) and once I got to track Hoea Ra I was crying softly, but once Matangi arrived I really lost it! I was just crying my heart out, because it touched my soul so much. She was completley indescribable. I don't even know how to describe the whole album, let alone just Kiri! The Maori Singers are just great. Even after track 5, I thought there couldn't be much more magic on this CD, that would be too perfect, but I was wrong! A combination of crying, smiling and beating along with the war songs, until the inevitable happened - I reached Pokerekereana :) The native birds singing at the beginning of the song was beautiful enough (we have those birds in our back yard!) but then in come the Maori male singers, then Kiri. It's progressing along with all of them singing away and then I LOVE how all of a sudden, it all goes quiet, and Kiri, more emotional than ever, sings her final, gorgeous line, 'Te aroha e.....' and her voice trails off. It's such an amazing way to end an amazing album! I was just stunned. As a New Zealander, I felt SO proud that this gorgeous singer, and her album, are from the same country as me! I sat there for about ten minutes doing nothing other than staring into space and thinking how incredible, amazing, BEAUTIFUL the whole album was! Arguably Kiri's best album - a definite 5 stars! B U Y I T !"
More than a labor of love...a GIFT of love!
Stacey Martin | 01/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've lived in Hawaii my entire life, so Polynesian music has a special effect on me--it stirs my "island spirit" (though I myself do not have Polynesian blood). I am also an opera singer (I hope)! When I first heard this CD, and and the first singer began, I thought, "Hey, where's Dame Kiri? " As you may have guessed, it was she who was singing! The stunningly beautiful soprano isn't singing in the manner of her great Mozart or Strauss performances, but still keeps her musicality and love of singing. Some of the electronic instrumentation may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't serve as the backbone of this album; what does is the singing of Dame Kiri and the highly talented Maori choir (hold onto your hats when they burst into good old fashioned Maori "shout-singing"! YEE-HA! ). I even liked the packaging. Maori spirit was definately soaring during the creation of "Kiri: Maori Songs." There's a good mixture of slow songs, fast songs, and slow-fast or fast-slow songs. Linear notes are nicely informational. I really love this album! I'm sure it will leave you feeling good, too!"
Qintessential Kiri
CAROLE F BROOKFIELD | Victoria BC | 11/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an album for Kiri's homeland. It is quintessential Kiri, quintessential Maori, with the Maori flavour of her voice shown to its best advantage. Kiri is performing the melodies she grew up with, the ones we all grew up with if we lived in NZ. This is a wonderful album that we have been waiting for Kiri to do for decades. These are some of the songs she sings when she comes home, the ones we wait to hear. Those who say the opera lovers will be disappointed just don't get it! That's not who Kiri recorded it for!"