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Aotearoa is a concert overture written for orchestra by New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn in the year 1940. The overture is one of three early works by Lilburn which center on the theme of national identity; the other two are 1944's Landfall in Unknown Seas, for narrator and orchestra, and the tone poem A Song of Islands of 1946. The title of the overture (Aotearoa) is taken from the Māori name for the islands. Lilburn wrote the overture while he was still a student at London's Royal College of Music, and it was premiered in Great Britain, at His Majesty's Theatre in London. It was not performed in New Zealand until 1959, but it has since entered the standard orchestral repertory there. Typical of Lilburn's early work, the overture features idiomatic writing for winds, especially flutes, and vigorous dynamic contrasts. At least two recordings of Aotearoa have been made, one of which is Symphony of Sails performed by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya in 2002. (Universal CD 99172)
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