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Gwyl Gerdd Menai (2CD) [CD]

Joseph Parry , John Hywel , Menai Music Festival Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 12.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Menai Music Festival
  • Conductor: John Hywel
  • Composer: Joseph Parry
  • Audio CD (12 Sep 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sain Records
  • ASIN: B000WTQ2GU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,745 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Blodwen - Over 30 Tracks on 2 CDs - Joseph Parry

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blodwen: Centenary Recording by BBC Wales 4 Sep 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Let me set this review in context. I like music but I am no expert. And I am not so keen on vocal music, especially opera. I came to this disc through unusual circumstances.

That said, I find that I have bought one of the few operas that I can sit through and enjoy.

Blodwen has been dismissed by `experts' as a pastiche of older styles, and it has been remarked that it is full of hymn tunes. So what? They were good styles, that's why Parry used them, and he wove good tunes into them. And saying that Parry is full of hymn tunes is like saying that Shakespeare is full of quotations. (No, I'm not comparing Parry to Shakespeare!)

The material is done full justice by the performance. The singers and the Menai Festival Orchestra (and the recording) are all excellent.

The booklet contains a discussion of the opera and the text of the libretto, in Welsh, of which I know not a word. Only an abridged version of the former, and none of the latter, are given in English, but a synopsis of the plot is given in both languages. The track listing is in Welsh only, with no timings -- if you want these, you will have to read the CD track list on your computer.

Apart from these niggles with the packaging, I am very pleased with this disc. It was a very lucky accident that led me to it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Welsh opera 3 Sep 2008
Format:Audio CD
Whilethis can't be claimed as a lost-masterpiece, it's interesting to hear the first welsh language opera. Musically, the style ranges from some Rossini like cabalettas in Act 1 to a moving Donizettian funeral march in Act 3, the whole piece ending with a fugue into which snatches of "Men of Harlech" are interwoven.

Dramatically the work is flawed, certainly not helped in this case by the fact that while a libretto in Welsh only is provided, no stage directions are given and only a basic synopsis given - this could lead to some confusion to non-welsh speakers, particularly where mutations are involved for example, Blodwen is variously called Blodwen, Mhlodwen and Flodwen.

The singing is ok but if this piece were to be resurrected it would benefit from a better cast & orchestra than that used for this performance (tho i think the orchestra is/was a semi-professional festival orchestra, so I may be being a little unfair).

Overall, while not a work of genius it's certainly a tuneful piece, worth looking into if you are interested in Welsh history
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