Monday, 7 May 2012

A New Collection of Welsh Songs for Elin Manahan Thomas

Since working with Elin Manahan Thomas on the Lazarus recording, I have been writing a set of three Welsh songs for her.  Elin's voice is very special and beautiful and, because I felt I had come to understand something of its deeper qualities, I wanted to try and write something to match it. Elin is an expert in Medieval Languages and accordingly chose three poems by the fourteenth-century Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym. He is best known for his love songs, and the three songs I have set describe his passion for the married woman Morfudd, taking us from his sensual discovery of Morfudd, to bitter disappointment at being spurned and then on to contentment and deep love at realising that she loves him. Elin is premiering the songs at her recital at Beulah United Reformed Church on Saturday June 2nd. Her accompanist is the wonderful pianist John Reid who, coincidentally, I taught at Charterhouse back in the 1990's!