From the Library: In These Stones, Horizons Sing

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 16 May, 2009

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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