Rhian Samuel - Songs Of Earth And Air: The Vocal Works Of Rhian Samuel (CD)

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Release Date: 12/09/22

Rhian Samuel's compositions are brought to life on this vibrant new release from Lorelt.

I nspired by poetry celebrating nature and her love for the Welsh countryside, Rhian Samuel's compositions are brought to life on this vibrant new release from Lorelt. Born in Aberdare, Wales, in 1944 to a Welsh-speaking, musical family, Rhian Samuel's large orchestral works include Elegy-Symphony (1981); Clytemnestra (1994) for soprano and orchestra, Dawnsiau'r Nant/Dances of the Stream (1999) and Tirluniau/Landscapes (2000). Inspired by Gloucestershire poet Laurie Lee's work, April Rise opens CD1 and explores the full artistic nature of the piano, employing it as 'an instrument of colour' to 'create the sense of a gentle haze'. It is vividly complimented by the 'quiet place that's green, away from all mankind' depicted in W.H. Davies' poem The Kingfisher. Samuel's April Rise and The Kingfisher were premiered by Edmund LeRoy and Kirt Pavitt in St Louis, Missouri, in 1983, while Snowdrop and A Warm Rain were originally set for mezzo-soprano and premiered the following year on the British Tour of USA artists Sharon Mabry and Patsy Wade. The text for the works of Spring Diary is derived from poems by Anne Stevenson, until recently a near-neighbour of Rhian Samuel in North Wales. It celebrates the multifaceted nature of spring from Stevenson's unique Welsh influenced perspective with references to the mountainous region of Cwm Nantcol and of Welsh folklore literature in the Mabinogion - based upon a 14th century manuscript known as 'Red book of Hergest'. Jeremy Huw Williams stars in the solo piece, Moon Over Maenefa, a poem written by Welsh poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins' poems often contains 'cynghanedd', a Welsh poetic technique that employs a strict structure of sounds through patterns of consonants. In this spirit, Rhian Samuel evokes the technique through the use of alliteration and repetition. Moon Over Maenefa was commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music, London as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations. Summer Songs is full of vivid contrast where In Summer highlights the end of night compared to the second poem's afternoon sun. Paula Fan masters the demanding piano work, whose role and importance throughout the two poems rivals that of the voice showcasing the evocation of the sobbing cry of the waking bird in In Summer and the translucence of the butterfly's wings in A Dragonfly In The Sun. A Swift Radiant Morning gives an overview of the life of poet Charles Hamilton Sorley who was killed in the Battle of Loos in 1915. A fitting memorial the life and enduring legacy of Sorley.

Label: Lorelt
Genre: Classical
Run Time: 72 mins

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