Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Chelmsford and District Welsh Society at the Cathedral

Our Cathedral was packed with ex-pat Celts for the Chelmsford and District Welsh Society's concert last Saturday.

It was their first time in this glorious choral acoustic, and the guests were the excellent Cor Meibion Llanelli, accompanied by Helen Roberts.

Under their inspiring director, Eifion Thomas, they brought us a selection from their wide and varied repertoire, including hymn tunes, opera, and the “greatest love song of all time”, Myfanwy.

I especially appreciated their American Trilogy, Mozart's Chorus of the Priests, and Mansions of the Lord, from the Vietnam movie We Were Soldiers.

As the Mayor pointed out, the concert was a potent reminder of the beauty of the Welsh tongue, and the wealth of repertoire written for these marvellous choirs.

The guest soloist was the young Welsh baritone Gary Griffiths. Sensitively accompanied at the piano by Nico de Villiers, he sang traditional Welsh airs, oratorio, Strauss, Don Giovanni and that sentimental ballad beloved of the diaspora, My Little Welsh Home. His encore was a beautifully phrased Some Enchanted Evening.

Memorably, choir and audience joined together in community singing, culminating, of course, in Land of My Fathers.

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