Echoes of a Distant Land
Franz Joseph Haydn - Trio No. 30 in F major Hob. XV:17
Franz Joseph Haydn - Welsh Songs, for voice & piano trio
Hilary Tann - Llef, for flute & cello
Maurice Ravel - Chansons madécasses, for voice, flute, cello, piano
Hilary Tann - In the Theatre of Air (2016 commission by the Marsyas Trio)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Welsh Songs, WoO 155, for voice & piano trio
This programme features works for chamber trio and voice spanning three centuries to the present day, alongside a newly commissioned work by the Welsh composer Hilary Tann. As part of an 18th-century movement to collect folk songs, the best composers of the day were called upon. Haydn was the first ‘continental’ composer to be commissioned for these folk song collections. He wrote over 400 folk song arrangements, 60 of which are settings of Welsh airs. In this case, the poetry was commissioned after the music was composed. Beethoven wrote more for the combination of voice and trio than any other – 179 pieces, almost all of which are in English. Beethoven never visited the British Isles and because of the Napoleonic wars, his manuscripts had to be smuggled in. Ravel’s Madagascan songs touch upon the senses with their raw beauty. Commissioned to write works reflective of countries they had never visited, Haydn, Beethoven and Ravel aptly capture the spirit of those distant lands in these rarely heard vocal works, whilst Hilary Tann’s music remains deeply connected to her native Wales from her current residence in the United States. A close connection with poetry permeates throughout the programme.