Introduction by Gwyn Hughes Jones:
This album – which is designed to be the first in a series – sets out to present the vocal concert culture which has helped form the Welsh singing tradition, with the emphasis on the Welsh tenor solos. I was inspired to start this project by the late Professor Hywel Teifi Edwards. During our many discussions, he spoke with passion about the singing tradition of Wales. One of the early heroes of this tradition was Eos Morlais (Robert Rees, of Dowlais near Merthyr, 1841 – 1892), and Hywel maintained that Eos’ favourite encore was the folk song “Mentra Gwen”. It is therefore as a small tribute to his memory that I include it as the first song in this collection. Hywel also said that the “aged minstrel” in the second song, so wistfully described by Myfyr Emlyn, was in fact Eos Morlais himself, with death approaching.
My main debt of gratitude is to Annette Bryn Parri who contributed so much both at the piano and during the editing process. Also to Siwan Evans for her dedicated work as recording and mixing engineer, and to Sain for undertaking this project in the first place.
I sincerely hope you will all enjoy this first volume of great Welsh songs. GHJ