Back in the summer, one of the distinctive experiences we had whilst preparing for our “Octet” tour was a visit to the home of Ann Thomas, Cefn Ydfa; the subject of the Welsh folk song, Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn(Shepherding the White Wheat).
If you’re not familiar with the background of the song, it describes the tragic loving relationship between Wil Hopcyn and Ann Thomas. Ann belonged to a family of affluent farmers from a small village in South Wales, Llangynwyd near Maesteg, but Wil was only a local thatcher and poet. Ann’s motherwas adamany that Wil wasn’t good enough for her daughter and therefore she forced Ann to marry the son of a local squire and a few days before the wedding, Wil left the village for Bristol. Months later, he returned home and when he arrived, he discovered that Ann was dying. As Wil held Ann in his arms, she relaxed and smiled because of her love for him, and then died. Ann was 23 and Wil died 14 years later after writing a song in memory of their love. Both are now buried in Llangynwyd.
Composer John Metcalf, and two of the Ensemble’s members had the opportunity to have their photos talen in front of Cefn Ydfa and it was a great opportunity for the musicians to play the main melody of the song on the farmyard. This is Peryn and Nicola reminding you of the melody.
Ensemble Cymru will join Mid Wales Opera in the spring in a new production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Using Amanda Holden’s English translation which tells the story of the Figaro and his prospective wife Susanna’s troubles in striving to deceive their masters, the audience are sure to be in stitches! The production has been tailored especially for the Welsh audience and joining international performers on stage will be young talented singers from the Wales International Academy of Voice.
Make a note in your diaries for Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro:
Saturday February 29 Hafren, Newtown
Wednesday March 4 Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
Sunday March 8 Theatr Clwyd, Mold
Tuesday March 10 Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Friday March 13 Operatif @ Pontio Bangor
Saturday March 14 Pontio, Bangor
Wednesday March 18 The Torch, Milford Haven
Saturday March 21 The Riverfront, Newport
Wednesday March 25 Ffwrnes, Llanelli
Saturday March 28 Courtyard, Hereford
With the Austrian National Day taking place last Saturday, (October 26), Ensemble Cymru is delighted to announce that a Welsh tribute to Austrian composer Franz Schubert will be heard at some of Wales’ main concert halls during November.
Wales’s finest chamber music group, Ensemble Cymru will be performing works by one of the world’s greatest composers, Octet in F Major by Schubert and Octet by Welsh composer John Metcalf, in nine different concerts across the length and breadth of Wales next month. Both Octets will be performed by violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bass and French Horn in locations ranging from Holyhead, Bangor, Pwllheli, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Cilcain, Newport (Pembs.), to Brecon and Aberystwyth between November 2 and 17. Continue reading Celebration of Melodies
Wales’s leading chamber music group, Ensemble Cymru, make a welcome return to the Welsh capital this November when they bring a special concert to St David’s Hall which includes the rarely performed masterpiece, the Schubert Octet, alongside a brand-new commission from the pen of Welsh composer, John Metcalf.
Continue reading Ensemble Cymru return to St David’s Hall with Schubert masterpiece
Ensemble Cymru and North Wales International Music Festival have joined forces to celebrate Wales’s first National Chamber Music Day on Friday 28th September 2018. This free event will showcase the wealth of chamber music on offer in the region, with live performances from Ensemble Cymru, Welsh National Opera, Rhyl Music Club, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and NEW Sinfonia.
Continue reading Wales’s first Chamber Music Day marked with North Wales event
Anglesey composer, Gareth Glyn, has written a new piece chamber music especially for Ensemble Cymru. The new composition, ‘To the Four Winds’ will be performed for the first time during Ensemble Cymru’s May tour, see full list of our dates here.
Here’s Gareth Glyn talking to Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans, about the new music. Continue reading Gareth Glyn talks new music ahead of Ensemble Cymru tour
To close their Anniversary Season, Wales’s leading chamber music ensemble, Ensemble Cymru, is embarking on its most ambitious concert tour to date featuring nine top flight musicians and music from Handel to Debussy, as well as a brand new commission by Welsh composer, Gareth Glyn.
Continue reading Ensemble Cymru embark on most ambitious chamber music tour to date this May
As part of our International Cultural Exchange Ensemble Cymru has been invited to perform on the final day of the 11th Welsh Alpine Championships in Champéry in the Canton of Valais (Wallis) in Switzerland.
We will be performing at the closing event of the competition in the presence of the British Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General in Switzerland, Richard Ridout, MBE.
Photo caption: (L to R) Sara Lian Owen, Peryn Clement-Evans, Anne Denholm (photo credit Timothy Ellis)
The programme will be a broad range of music from Wales including music of Grace Williams in the 40th year since her death.
Valais has a shared Celtic history with Wales and apparently the names Valais (Wallis) and Wales come from the same word.
Anne Denholm –Harp (our new principal harpist and official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales)
Sara Lian Owen – Soprano (originally from Bangor in North Wales)
Peryn Clement-Evans – Clarinet
Ahead of the trip to Switzerland, Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director and principal clarienttist, Peryn Clement-Evans said:
“We’re excited to be invited to perform at the Welsh Alpine Championships and to be making new friends in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. We were approached some time ago by Ray Pritchard, a Welshman living in Switzerland and we’re hugely grateful to him and the community of Champéry for making our visit possible.”
Chamber music virtuosi, Ensemble Cymru, are set to embark on their first tour of 2017 – with dates planned across Wales.
Award-winning musicians including violinist Florence Cooke, pianist Richard Ormrod and Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director and Principal Clarinettist, Peryn Clement-Evans, make up the trio for the February tour which promises to showcase a discerning programme of chamber music.
One of classical music’s most prolific and influential composers, Mozart, and his Sonata in Bb major will feature in Ensemble Cymru’s upcoming concerts. The chamber trio will also perform an energetic suite written by the highly original 20th Century French composer, Darius Milhaud, plus Béla Bartók’s Eastern European folk-inspired Contrasts will feature in this diverse and exciting February programme.
Talking ahead of the tour, Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director and clarinettist for the concerts said:
“We’re all on a bit of high after our Big Give Campaign in December which raised an amazing £12,000. On behalf of all at Ensemble Cymru I just want to thank everyone who donated so generously. It’s really given us boost for our upcoming tour of Wales in February. Music I’m really looking forward to playing as the clarinettist is a piece which the great jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman asking his friend Bela Bartok to compose. There’s a lot of folk traditions and dances from Hungary and Rumania and something to watch out for is when the music asks our violinist Florence to re-tune two strings of her violin enabling her to create a really exciting Eastern European folk sound!”
The tour starts on February 1st and tickets are currently on sale at venues across North Wales including Venue Cymru, Llandudno (2&4 February) Holyhead’s Ucheldre Centre (1 February) Galeri, Caernarfon (3 February) Pontio, Bangor (5 February) Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli (6 February) and Capel Gad in Cilcain near Mold (7 February) plus Aberystwyth Arts Centre (12 February) and Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff (15 February). Please see our events page for a full schedule of venues plus dates and concert times. Booking is advised.