HIRAETH (Gaelic & Welsh: "Longing" - for solo violin and harp or piano)

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NOTE: An MP3 file, using Kontakt sounds, is available online at this site for listening.

"Hiraeth," which I wrote as a wedding gift to my bride and which was performed at our wedding, is from my "Vaughan Williams Period" of the middle 1970s, a time that still has a lingering influence on my style in some of my compositions. In this work, a strong and direct influence of RVW’s _Six Studies in English Folk Song_ is clearly evident, especially in the rhythmically free introduction and coda, which calls to mind his first study, "Lovely on the Water," also known as "In the Springtime of the Year."

Influence of Celtic music permeates this work, which is very anhemitonic-pentatonic and marked by many of what the folksong scholar Samuel Preston Bayard termed "congenial idiomatic expressions" of the folk music of the Celtic regions and the English West Country. The middle strophe, with the melody set chordally in the harp and running counterpoint in the solo violin, is suggestive of Welsh _canu penillion_, or improvisatory singing to the harp, although the rules of _canu penillion_ are by no means strictly observed.

Piano can be substituted for harp if so desired, although I personally prefer harp.

Score ID
Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
5 minutes
Solo instrument (Violin 1)
World music
Instrumental parts

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Cover art for HIRAETH (Gaelic &  Welsh: "Longing" - for solo violin and harp or piano)

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