Welsh Album (Welsh folk tunes)
Welsh folk tunes for piano solo
Eight arrangements for solo piano of Welsh folk songs, culminating in the National Anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
- Llwyn On (The Ash Grove)
- Milgi, Milgi (The Greyhound)
- Calon Lân (A Pure Heart)
- Tra bo dau (While There are Two)
- Rhyfelgyrch Gwyr Harlech (Men of Harlech)
- Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn (Watching the Wheat)
- Cyfri’r Geifr (Counting the Goats)
- Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers)
In the summer of 2002 I made my first visit to Wales, and spent two weeks wandering along the rocky coast through Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire. I knew only that my paternal great-grandfather Thomas Bennett Thomas was Welsh, that he had come to the U.S. as a teenager in the 1860s, and that he had preached to congregations in both Welsh and English (a “prominent pulpeteer,” his obituary read). A family tree (from 1956, two years before I was born) gave several place names, among them Aberaeron, a modest harbor town on the west coast which turned out to be the ancestral home. I looked at thousands of gravestones there, and indeed found ancestors, but I also found living relatives descended from my great-grandfather: a lively 85-year-old aunt, and two cousins—one a librarian at the House of Lords in London—who gave me a private tour of Westminster. I’m now proud to know that I am a member of one of the oldest families in that lovely seaside town.
In the years since, I’ve made a number of arrangements of Welsh folk songs as a way to get to know the culture. They include Three Welsh Folk Songs for flute and piano, From the Land of Song, for cello and piano, and Preludes on Welsh Tunes for organ.