This is the most popular work by Grace Williams (1906-1977), the first important Welsh woman composer. It is a lovely and loving treatment of several traditional children's songs from her native country, skillfully and beautifully arranged in the very best tradition of British light music. She wrote the 10-minute work using tunes well-known to Welsh families but practically unknown outside Wales. The model for the work was Vaughan Williams's Norfolk Rhapsody, which is a similar succession of deftly treated English folk tunes. Another (and much less expected) influence on this work is the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, particularly his dances from the opera Prodana Nevesta (The Bartered Bride). The orchestral style and the bright, cheery sound of the work overall, are the main similarities to that concert favorite. The work has a useful and conventional shape, with the brightest, cheeriest tunes flocking to the outer ends of the piece, and the more lyrical, even sad, tunes providing a nice gentle contrast in the middle. American listeners might be teased a bit by a touch of resemblance between a part of the first theme and Yankee Doodle. The work received its premiere in 1940 on a radio broadcast by the BBC Northern Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra). It was a great hit, prompting an immediate commercial recording by the London Symphony Orchestra. Appearing during the dark days of World War II it provided a feeling of optimism and cheerfulness. From the time of that disc it has remained Grace Williams' most popular work. Grace Williams was born in Barry, South Wales. Winning a Morfydd Owen Scholarship enabled her to attend University College, Cardiff. In 1926 she went study at the Royal Academy of Music, where her principal teacher was Vaughan Williams. Another scholarship enabled her to study in Vienna with Egon Wellesz. She remained in London until 1946, when she moved back to Wales and returned to Barry, where she spent the rest of her life.
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Descripción Oxford University Press, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0193688506