The Songs of Grace Williams


The Songs of Grace Williams

Lontano Records releases an album of welsh composer Grace Williams’ vocal works, featuring baritone Jeremy Huw Williams.

Considered to be Wales’ most notable female composer, Grace Williams (1906-1977) was a student of Vaughan Williams. Her most well known works include Fantasia on Welsh Nursery Tunes (1940) and Penillion (1955), which was written for the National Youth Orchestra. In 1949 she also became the first British woman to write the score for a feature film, with the British drama Blue Scar.

Though her instrumental work remains in the performance canon, her vast number of vocal works have been largely neglected. This CD features songs that span the entire duration of her compositional career – from Slow fresh fount (c.1925), a setting of words from Ben Jonson’s Cynthia’s Revels, to My Last Duchess (1974), a setting of Robert Browning’s poem, written just three years before her death.

This CD also features William’s own arrangements of welsh traditional songs (such as Jim Cro, Hushaby my pretty one, and Brecon), while traditional folk melodies are also incorporated into her own music.

In 1992 Odaline de la Martinez founded Lontano Records (LORELT), which promotes the work of female composers, such as Grace Williams, contemporary composers and Latin American music. Lorelt has previously recorded Williams’ short work Hiraeth on Sea of Glass, an album of harp music released in 1997.

Click here to read the full press release.