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‘Wales is rich in folk songs, and the art of singing these songs is very much alive today,’ writes Osian Ellis to the original note (reprinted in the CD booklet) accompanying this L’Oiseau-Lyre LP. Renowned for his harpistry and to many through his recordings of music by Benjamin Britten (with whom he worked closely), this extremely rare recording, made for L’Oiseau-Lyre in 1961 here receives its first release on CD. What makes it even more of a collector’s item is the fact that Ellis is both singer and harpist on this recording. It ranges from Baroque songs to music from the nineteenth century (Boughton’s once-popular Faery Song) to folk songs from Wales, and includes a composition (‘O mistress mine’) by Ellis himself.

[the songs are] launched and sustained with arresting expressiveness. […] The whole gamut of moods in the Welsh songs is found to be more artfully arranged when one has played it through several times. I found many of the songs, unfamiliar at first, growing on me as I repeated them. […] I found the recording easy and realistic … and enjoyable. --GRAMOPHONE, 1962

trad.: A B C
trad.: As I walked out (Pan oeddwn ar ddydd yn cyd-rodio)
anon.: Blackbird, wilt thou go? (Ei di’ir deryn dur?)
trad.: By the Seashore (Ar lan y mor)
trad.: Gee up, little horse (Gee ceffyl bach)
trad.: Longing (Hiraeth)
trad.: Morning Song (Y bore glas)
trad.: Song of Gwenny (Gwenni aeth i Ffair Bwllheli)
trad.: Song of the Birds (Rew di Ranno)
trad.: Song of the Miller (Cân y Melinydd)
trad.: The Loom (Y Gwŷdd)
trad.: The Old Man’s Ballad (Pan oeddwn i gynt yn fachgen)
trad.: The Slumber Song (Cysga Di)
trad.: Where are you going to, my pretty maid?
trad.: Where is my love? (Pa le mae nghariad?)
Arne: Come away, death
Boughton: Faery Song
Campion: There is a Garden in her face
Dowland: Sweet stay awhile
Ellis, O: O Mistress Mine
Jones, Robert: Sweet Kate
Leslie: Annabelle Lee
Pilkington: Rest sweet Nimphs
Rosseter: What then is love but mourning?

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