Vaughan Williams - Symphony No.2 / Mathias - Celtic Dances
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Label: Divine Art
Cat No: DDV24135
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 16th February 2009
WorksCeltic Dances, op.60
Symphony no.2 'A London Symphony'
ArtistsNational Youth Orchestra of Wales
ConductorOwain Arwel Hughes
The spirit and movement of dance is central to much of William Mathias's music. Pieces directly inspired by dance include the Dance Overture (1962), the Invocation and Dance (1961) and the Celtic Dances on this disc, written in 1972 to mark the 50th anniversary of Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Mathias's use of dance is not superficial; on the contrary it reminds us that in earlier times dance was associated with religious fervour. The word ‘Celtic’ had many connotations for Mathias when he came to write this piece. He wrote, "the music is intended to evoke an area of feeling largely associated with the mythological past, even though such an idea is here expressed in terms of our own time. Rite and magic, jewelled colours, the spirit of play, wistfulness, lyrical warmth, and (above all) rhythmic vitality - these are all qualities associated with Celtic arts and tradition, and they were present as part of that area of experience which prompted the composition of this work."
The National Youth Orchestra of Wales under Owain Arwel Hughes performed both of these works at the Welsh Proms in August 2008 and also at Birmingham Town Hall. “Superbly paced and beautifully sonorous, it was intensely moving and really quite marvelous” (Birmingham Post)
The National Youth Orchestra of Wales has the distinction of being the first national youth orchestra in the world. It combines traditional expectations with a contemporary outlook, develops a first-class training experience into performances that are full of energy and passion, and is not afraid to challenge audiences with a repertoire that is bold and adventurous.
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