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Songs of Liliuokalani ()

by

Queen Lydia Liliuokalani is perhaps the most prominent composer in Hawaiian music, as well as the last monarch of the islands. As such, her works are featured high and low by Hawaiian musicians of all genres, from vocalists to slack key guitarists. Songs of Liliuokalani is a collection of her works as adapted for the string quartet. The end result is quite a stately affair, perhaps more so than would really be hoped for in music meant to convey the beauty of Hawaii. The compositions fit the string quartet format quite well, and the players themselves are quite capable in their roles. There's something missing with the complete lack of vocals though, and the usual variety of tunings and intonations given the music by the non-classical artists who play it. In the string quartet, there's an aspect of dryness given to the compositions, though it's unintended. This dryness leads to a sort of inadvertent trivialization of the music. The music of Liliuokalani is a fine body of work, and these players do a fine job of playing music in general, though it lends itself more properly to "The Queen's Music" than the music of Hawaii's queen. Give the album a listen, but be sure to listen to more common renditions for comparison. ~ Adam Greenberg, Rovi Hide synopsis

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