Crefft unigryw: The Unique Art of Osian Ellis | Sain Records SCD2785

Crefft unigryw: The Unique Art of Osian Ellis


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Label: Sain Records

Cat No: SCD2785

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 18th May 2018



To celebrate his 90th birthday an extraordinary album of recordings by Osian Ellis, one of Wales’s musical giants. The collection encompasses over 60 years of performances recorded by him for several recording companies from the 1950s to the present day.

Osian Ellis is regarded not only as an international harpist of high acclaim but also as one of the most notable musicians of the 20th century. At the age of seventeen he was awarded the Joseph Parry Scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and was later appointed Professor of Harp there, a post he held for over 30 years. In 1960 he was appointed as Principal Harp of the London Symphony Orchestra, and the next 30 years would see him performing extensively with the orchestra and also as a soloist and chamber harpist with the renowned Melos Ensemble.

Many leading composers, including Benjamin Britten, William Mathias and Alun Hoddinott composed works especially for him. This CD contains the highly acclaimed recording made by Osian Ellis and the Melos Ensemble in 1962 of Ravel’ s Introduction et Allegro, one of the classics of the harp repertoire. Here also is the 1960 recording of Handel’s Concerto No.5 in F major, directed by Thurston Dart, which won the French Grand Prix du Disque award.

We are charmed by his early 1950s Delys recordings of Welsh Folk Songs and ‘Penillion singing’ and the recording by the Vienna Boys’ Choir of Osian’s arrangement of Deck the Hall, recorded in 1979. The recording from the 1990s of William Mathias’ Improvisations for Harp are also included, together with Osian Ellis’s own composition Diversions, for two harps, and the magical Interlude from Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. Amazingly, the last three songs on the CD were recorded a few days after Osian celebrated his 90th birthday in February 2018. What a magnificent way to crown this wonderful collection by the ‘King of Harps’!

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