From the Land of Song

From the Land of Song (O Gwlad y Gân) (2010) cello and piano 14′
Winner, 2010 NINNAU & Y Drych Eisteddfod-by-Mail
Recorded by Christine Thomas Tsen. Available from CD Freedom
  1. Pant Corlan yr Wyn (Let Now the Harp)
  2. Tros y Garreg (Over the Stone)
  3. Yn Nyffryn Clwyd (The Missing Boat)
  4. Ar hyd y nos (All Through the Night)
  5. Dwfn Yw’r môr (Well I Know This Lovely Place)

Program Note

My cellist sister Christine requested a suite of folk songs from Wales—often called the “Land of Song”—for recital use. Chris sent a list of her favorite tunes; I chose five that I thought made a little journey through the repertoire, as well as a display pieces for her talents.
Approaching as if from a distance, the cheerful “Let Now the Harp” is answered by its inverted form, which foreshadows the well-known “All Through the Night,” and the two dialogue in sonata style.”Over the Stone” recalls Fauré in its siciliana setting. “The Missing Boat” has special significance. Our great-great-grandfather, John Thomas of Aberaeron, Wales, captained the clipper-built schooner Clifton that ran aground on Bideford Bar in a storm on December 3, 1859, drowning him with three of his crew. His son, Thomas Bennett Thomas, subsequently emigrated to the U.S., founding the American branch of our family. While “All Through the Night” needs no introduction, note that its incipit is shared by “Well I Know This Lovely Place,” making a smooth transition to the finale. The augmented form of that last tune develops in a Schumannesque manner and leads to a virtuosic coda.
From the Land of Song received First Prize (The Myfanwy Bajaj Prize) in the 2010 Ninnau and Y Drych Music Eisteddfod by Mail.


Posted on

September 1, 2015

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