Gareth Glyn

Date: July 2009

The Gwynn Publishing Company are publishing 15 choral pieces by the well known Welsh composer, Gareth Glyn. The majority are brand new pieces, others are pieces composed over a number of years for specific choirs or for special occasions, but have never been published as such before now. Eleven of the pieces are for mixed choirs and four for male voice choirs.

The variety of the collection, in content and mood, is one outstanding feature. For example, on the one hand the jubilant setting of Psalm 150 (a piece performed by Pontarddulais Choir with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra), and on the other hand, Feet – a light-hearted poem by Gwyn Thomas describing a baby discovering its feet for the first time!

Another piece, ‘Never Was Dawn So Bright’ has its own story. The lyrics were originally composed by Gareth’s wife, Eleri Cwyfan, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. “The barriers were shattered and flung aside, The menacing portals were opened wide…Now hear us as we pray, O Lord above, Forever bind us in your chains of love.” By a sheer coincidence, the Gwynn company was preparing the final version of this piece for printing on November 5, 2008, the day Barack Obama was elected President of the USA, and the words – the title in particular - seemed specially appropriate on that day.

The variety of the pieces reflect the great variety of poets whose work have been set to music - Gwyn Thomas, Gerallt Lloyd Owen, Alan Llwyd, Gwenallt, Saunders Lewis, Gwynn ap Gwilym, Geraint Vaughan Jones, Elinor Wyn Reynolds, Gwyneth Evans, and even Madog ap Gwallter, a 13th century Welsh bard (The Nativity).

All the pieces except four have words in English as well as Welsh – and most of the words have been translated into English by Gareth himself.

“Having so many pieces appearing at the same time is a unique experience for me, “ said Gareth, “and I’m extremely grateful to Cwmni Gwynn for undertaking such an ambitious publishing programme, and also for their great care and imagination as far as the front covers are concerned. I hope there will be something in this collection to please all kinds of choir and achievement level.”

Arfon Gwilym, Director of Cwmni Gwynn said: “It’s a great privilege to publish a collection such as this by one of the most respected composers in Wales today. It’s difficult to imagine a more prolific composer than Gareth Glyn anywhere, nor a composer with such a gift for conveying the exact mood of a poem in music, all in a style which is unique and modern. These pieces will hopefully be a valuable addition to the choral repertoire, not only in Wales but in other parts of the world also.”

Return to the news page.