From the Library: In These Stones, Horizons Sing

Con­tin­u­ing a recent tra­di­tion estab­lished by Otenth Pader­born, here’s anoth­er pro­gramme of Celtic music — with a twist!

In this case, among a strong col­lec­tion of tra­di­tion­al tunes, we’re fea­tur­ing pieces of music from some of the Celtic lands which aren’t par­tic­u­lar­ly Celtic, although they rest on the tra­di­tions in oth­er ways. And today the focus is very much upon Wales.

Thus you’ll hear a num­ber of pieces by Welsh com­pos­er Karl Jenk­ins, sung in Welsh (and oth­er lan­guages, includ­ing the melis­mat­ic vocal­i­sa­tions of his Adiemus albums). We will also be includ­ing his piece, In These Stones Hori­zons Sing, a work for cho­rus and orches­tra com­mis­sioned for the open­ing of Wales Mil­len­ni­um Cen­tre in the Welsh cap­i­tal Caerdy­dd (Cardiff), and first per­formed on Novem­ber 29th, 2004.

The work includes text in both Eng­lish and Welsh writ­ten by three emi­nent Welsh poets, Gra­hame Davies, Men­na Elfyn and Gwyneth Lewis. The words of the title appear above the frontage of the Cen­tre (see pic­ture) and were writ­ten by Lewis, appoint­ed Bardd Cened­laethol Cym­ru, or Nation­al Poet of Wales, in 2005.

The Welsh orig­i­nal that pre­cedes the Eng­lish, “Creu Gwir fel Gwydr o Ffwr­nais Awen”, on the build­ing frontage does not say the same thing: instead, it means, “Cre­at­ing truth like glass from the fur­nace of inspi­ra­tion” and recalls Cardif­f’s indus­tri­al her­itage as well as the inspi­ra­tion (Awen) of leg­endary Welsh poet Tal­iesin. The stained glass and gyp­sum pan­el in fact forms the largest poem in the world. For more about the poem, click here.

Today you’ll also hear Welsh folk choirs, and more tra­di­tion­al Celtic mate­r­i­al from the region, accom­pa­nied by oth­er Celtic per­for­mances from Ire­land, Scot­land, Brit­tany and beyond, (and even a few from Eng­land). But there are some twists there too: you’ll hear the music of Drag­ons­fly, for exam­ple, which com­bines tra­di­tion­al dances with Celtic and East­ern influ­ences to cre­ate a heady, yet melo­di­ous, bal­ance.

Just for good mea­sure, we’ve includ­ed some tra­di­tion­al medi­ae­val and Renais­sance dances from the Henri­cian Con­sort and their col­leagues. We do hope you’ll enjoy today’s pro­gramme.

From the Library is pro­duced in con­junc­tion with the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium. For more about the work of the Con­sor­tium, please click here. You can lis­ten to today’s pro­gramme on our Main Stream as fol­lows:

If you want to have the Radio Riel Main Stream play­ing on your par­cel, please set the media music URL to:

If you want to lis­ten off-world, sim­ply click here.

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