WITH THE HEATHER AND SMALL BIRDS
2 fl (+picc), 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, 2 hn, 2 tpt, timp, perc, str
Duration: c. 10 minutes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
With the Heather and Small Birds, a celebratory overture for chamber orchestra, takes its title from a translation of a poem by Welsh Bard, John Ceiriog Hughes (1833-1897) -- in Welsh, "efo'r grug a'r adar man" from Nant y Mynydd. The last stanza reads "Son of the mountain am I/ Far from home making my song/ But my heart is in the mountain/ With the heather and small birds." For the composer, the image is of the high plateau of central Wales, within walking distance of the coal-mining valley of her childhood. It is a place of freedom, ancientness, and song (songs of the valley, and song of the skylark). – HT
The piece was commissioned by the 1994 Cardiff Festival, with funds provided by the Welsh Arts Council. It was premiered, September 17, 1994, in Cardiff, Wales, by the European Women's Orchestra conducted by Odaline de la Martinez; it received its US premiere, March 1 1997, in San Francisco, California, with the Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karla Lemon.
Recording: North/South Recordings HERE, THE CLIFFS