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The National Eisteddfod.I

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides

The National Eisteddfod. ADJUDICATIONS ON THE LLAXELLY ROYAL AND MALE VOICE CHOIRS. LOXDOX AS WELSH CAPITAL. At the London National Eisteddfod on Thursday, Mr. Llewelyn Williams, M.P., who was called by his bardic name of Llwydfryn, to address the gathering, met with a flattering reception. Mr. W. Llewellyn Williams be- gan by extending to the assembled gathering a hearty "welcome home." The venerable Vicar Prichard, of Llandovery, had used those words and made them classic Welsh in his address of welcome to Prince Charles of Wales 300 years ago, and in coming to London Welshmen were simply coming back home. The English were fond of casting into Welsh- men's teeth the fact, if it were a fat-f, that they had no capital in Wales. His South Wales friends would claim that honour for Cardiff (laughter and applause). He ques- tioned that claim (laughter). Wales was a literary nation, and her capital must be a home of Welsh literature (applause). What town in the land could compare in this re- spect with London ? (laughter). They might laugh, but he made the statement seriously. For over two centuries after William Caxton had introduced the art of printing, every Welsh book, and ever, book relating to Wales produced by the printing press, had been pub- lished and printed in London (applause). It was London which gave Wales William Sales- bury's Welsh Testament and Bishop Morgan's Welsh Bible, the set once for all the literary standard for Welsh (applause). I It was in London that- Stephen Hughes, of Carmarthenshire, printed his editions of Vicar I Prichard's "The Welshmen's Candle," and his own excellent translation of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (applause). These books had preserved the Welsh language for ever from any danger of becoming extinct (ap- plause). But Wales to-day had no literary capital. Why ? For the simple but sufficient reason that every hamlet in Wales to-day, and for many a long year past, had produced its own literary genius (loud applause), and be- cause Welsh books were being and had been produced for 200 years past from every print- ing press in the Principality. Was there a man present who could say which town had produced the greatest number of Welsh books within the past two centuries? Was it Car- narvon or Carmarthen? Was it Llandovery or Llanrwst ? Was it Caergybi or Caerdydd? Was it Bala or Swansea.? Who could tell? (applause). Then the English cast. in their teeth that Wales had no national necropolis, no inspiring Westminster Abbey. The abbeys of Ystrad Fflur and of Aber Conway had long since lain in ruins. Where, then, was the Macpelah of Wales? As far as he could read Welsh history, the Welsh Mac-pelah of the past was again—London. Here, somewhere, lay the body of Gruffydd, father of Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf. Here, somewhere, lay the head of the unfortunate but bravely patriotic last Prince-of Wales. Here, somewhere, lay the bodies of John Penry, the first Welsh martyr; of Christopher Love, of David Powel, of John James, Maesygamedd, of James Howell, of James, 'Hughes (the commentator), of General Picton (the warrior). Here, in fact, lay the bodies of xiiany oithe great mèn of Wales of the past..The Welsh people could face the. future confidently and courageously. They were assembled that day in the Metropolis of the world, which preserved to this day the name conferred upon it by their "ancestors over twenty centuries ago (applause). It con- tained to-day a large and influential section of pure Weialimen and Welshwomen burning with zeal for their land. race, and language (applause). Once more, then, he could say with every sense of fitness to Welsli people coming to London. "Welcome home!" (loud applause). MISS ELEANOR DAXIEL'S SUCCESS. Recitation for females, Ti wyddost beth ddywtd fy nghalon" (Ceiriof), prize i22. Twenty-seven competitors were heard by Llew Tegid at the preliminary contest, and three of these were selected to recite on the platform. It was, said the adjudicator, the best recita- tion contest for girls he had ever heard in his life. The great fault of the majority of the candidates was that they did not tell the story simply, but tried to act the part. They must, not make an actress of Ceiriog's mother (hear, hear). The best was Miss Eleanor Daniel, of Llanelly; but a special consolation prize was given by Mr David Hinds to the second, Miss Maggie M. James, Senghenydd; and by Mr. I Vincent Evans to the third, a little girl of I eight, Miss Gladys M. Davies, Pentre. Rhon- dda, whose performance much pleased the audience. 1 T'le adjudication oh the Llanelly Royal Prize Choir, who secured the second prize in I the chief choral competition, was as follows:- The balance was rather affected by the over- prominence of the sopranos, one voice parti- cularly standing cut. It was a very good voice, and tfeey. congratulated the possessor of it. They were in very, good time sometimes, but in the part-song there was a pleasing rhythm which showed some skill. The change to B flat was not well organised, but fairly expressive. There waz; not too great colour, but still a certain amount of charm and due restraint. The pace in the Bach piece was fair. There was some rhythmic life and some 1 of the texture of the part writing was re- vealed. Everybody scraped the A, but there was a musical tone generally and -unity of attack, and a serious mood was evoked some- times. In the last page they seemed exhaus- ted. Perhaps they had got up early that morning, and that was an excuse. In the Cor- nelius piece the vehement part was in the right mood, and the tempos properly related to one another. They secured an effect which no one else secured in one part; they made the part-song ominous, which was as it should be. There was a creep later on. Sometimes. they were too agitated, and there was trouble in some difficult passages. They were rather nervous in the last page, and he did not know who would not. be nervous in they looked at that page. The marks for Llanelly were:— Part song' 80: Bach piece, 85; Cornelius piece, 78; total. 243 marks. PEMBROKE DOCK. I I The first to sing was Pembroke Dock. They gave a very delicate performance of the part- song. There was considerable- unity, and it was compact but the tone rather lacked sweet ie sonant. There was a very bright treat- ment of the rhythm, and it was a well- organised and well-disciplined choir. They ware not, however, quite correct. There were one or two places in the part-song where near- ly every choir went wrong. Some of the singers were not on the pitch of the notes, and they lost a whole tone. They had a wrong conception of the Bach piece. It was too gay. too merry, and the attack was strag- gling. It was too part-songy. The ejacula- tions of the second c-horus in and where," were far too trivial. It was more rhythmic than interpretative. The ac- cents were much exaggerated. In the Cor- nelius piece this choir had many good fea- tures in the way of rhythmic attack, but the piece called for very vivid and picturesque expression, and this was absent, there being no imposing climax as there should be, and there were several, the greatest of course being: at the end. Another mistake was to uuduly prolong the rests written by the composer, who,, had he wanted a few more bars rest, would probably have written them in. The last page was very inadequately treated. The adjudicators had allotted 100 marks for each piece, and Pembroke Dock got 75 for the first piece, 67 for the Bach, and 71 for the Corne- lius, a total of 213 marks, No 2, I RHYMNEY UNITED, sang the part-song to the Welsh words, and displayed a very nice blend, but the expres- sion marks were sometimes overdone or over- wrought.. They were' not correct in several places, but there was considerable sympathy in the expression. The attack often showed great skill and good drilling, and there was a good climax near the end. A certain B flat kept on worrying these choirs, but on the whole there were a good many points made in the performance. It would have been better if the piece had a more natural flow. In the Bach the vocalisation of all those runs, so -characteristic a feature of the piece, was rather loose. The execution became laboured. and there were some very indefinite notes, which were practically wrong. There were so many of the singers not on the notes, but making a circular tour aroung them. The sopranos now and then had a high, screamy tone, especially the high A. Many small mis- takes were made, and the performance might also be deseribed as casual. The diminuendo at the end was quite uncalled for. A rallan- tando might have been borne with, but not a diminuendo. In the Cornelius piece the tempi of the duple and the triple times were not properly related, and neither of the changes of time was regulated properly. The last page was a stirring climax. The right spirit was caught here, and it moved the ad- judicators a good deal, but it was not correct, unfortunately. It was the right spirit, but some wrong notes.—The marks scored by this choir were—First piece, 80; Bach, 50, showing what falling off there had been; and the Cor- nelius piece, 70; making a total of 200 marks. The third choir. RHYMNEY GWENT. I ha, the part-song had a very nice tone and very blendful. The intonation was not perfect, but the adjudicators ascribed that more to the hall than to the choir. There was grace in the treatment, and an agreeable warmth. There was a creepy tonal attack, sometimes as if they were up seeking their notes rather than going on to them, but there was much delicacy in the performance. The attack was very excellent in the forte passages, and the climax was very good. They made a few mis- takes which need not be recorded. In the Bach they fell off a good deal. It was a very doubtful execution, and the texture of the parts was by no means clear. The bass was rather poor. No part seemed happy, and it never struck a note of pathos. Many of the high notes were indicate rather than sung. On the whole there was not enough conviction in the style. The climax was right-up to nea-r the last page, and it seemed as if the choir was going to redeem some of the errors of the earlier part, but unfortunately the pail of milk gathered there was kiqjced over at the end by the part-songy treatment of the last few bars. The texture of the piece was too loose. In the Cornelius the choir started in that vehement style that was absolutely called for, and the tempi were all properly related to one another. Some of the tonality was doubt- ful, but there was vitality, stir, excitement, and vigour in the pieces. They got rather out near the end, lost the' key somewhat, but still undoubtedly they caught a great deal of the spirit of the piece. Marks—Part song, 88: -,Vlark-s-Part :song, 88: Baell pie-.e, 52; Co-rneliu?s piece, 80. Total ?. 220 CARNARVON. I Carnarvon were the fourth choir, and here The adjudicators at once were elevated into another atmosphere. The choir had dainty rhythm, expressive, style, and blendful tone, and all the phrases were well tapered off. The adjudicatory felt that the whole thing was organised. He would not say that they weN dead in time all through, but they were more in tune than any other choir, and all the I small climaxes were artistically treated. The adjudicators thought that two of the staccato passages were exaggerated, but that was going out of one's way to find fault. There was a very good balance, conspicuous unity, sweet blend. The ends of the phrases were too crisp for the piece, but the attack generally was so clear and definite that one hesitated to find much fault with it. They got a little bit up in pitch in the middle, and ended a little sharp. It was in the Bach piece, how- ever, that they excelled. It was here that really they won their victory. The pace seemed a little bit sharp at first, but it was never jaunty as in the other performances. The parts were all. sustained, and one could feel the web of the parts going through. The ejaculations in the second chorus—the "who" and the "which," and so on—were full and round, and not staccato. There was musician- ship and confidence, and the texture: of. the counterpoint was all revealed. He thought it was rather more leisurely and deliberate than it should be. They did not want haste; they might have speed, but not haste. They ended loud, with just enough rallantando, showing the taste and judgment- of the con- ductor. The Cornelius piece was sung by this choir from memory, which was a feat. They stood on the platform to sing without copies, and to face the audience with that horribly difficult music. There was, hot hltich "vitality here. Was it because lliey were endeavouring to remember rather than to sing? It seemed pale and not vehement, and they did not fe- e-tire a vigorous climax. It was all good sing- ing, almost dainty, but not ponderous and temptuous for. the interpretation. Near the ,end the choir was not quite in tune, but speaking generally they were fairly correct. The marks for Carnarvon were—Part-song, 93; Bach piece, 95 out of 100: Cornelius piece, 85; total. 273. This choir secured the first prize. No. 5, CARDIFF. I in the part-song very soon went down in pitch, unfortunately, and that clouded the I' whole performance VIhe sopranos were chiefly responsible for this. The tone was pleasant and musical, but .still slow, and then it was murky as a blend because of the effect of its not being in tune. It vvas a very fine choir. There were some small errors. The perform- ance was hardly inspiring, there being not enough conviction in the style. Still, it was refined. There was good feeling, but they lost a whole tone, and that clouded the general effect. In the Bach piece they caught the right pace. They were evidently aiming at the right thftig. It was serious, .de- votional, sacred music, and there was no at- tempt to make illegitimate effects out of its rhythm, which became rather laborious, be- cause the rhythm was not quite well defined. The choir improved very much indeed near the end, and moved the adjudicators deeply. Ii They thought, it was first ra.te, but the choir did not succeed at the very end. The intona- I tion was rather up and down, but there was a good conception of the piece in The Tern- pest." They had fair vitality, but it was not. i fast and furious enough. The piece could I hardly be described as tempestuous, but a mild storm, and was not certain in execu- tion, In .one piece the choir secured in im- minent danger of falling to pieces. The points for Cardiff were- Part-song, 76 Bach piece, 85; Cornelius piece, 75; total, 236. MALE VOICE COMPETITION. DETALED ADJUDICATION BY DE. MACNAUGHT. The Male Voice Competition took place on Friday. The nine choirs were drawn to sing in the following order:- 1. Llanelly Male Voice Society (conductor Mr. Dan S. Evans). 2. Mid-Rhondda Orpheus Glee Society (Mr. Emrys Richards). j 3. Morriston Male Voice Society (Mr. T. D. Jones). 4. Maesteg MaJe Voice Party (Mr. A\. T. Wil- Hams). 5. Bargoed-Teify Male Voice Party Inos. Luke). 6. Swansea and District Male Vcuce Party (Mr ""(..(; l,- .l _L_ Llew. R. 7. Dowlais Male Voice Choir (Mr. W. J. Wat- kius). 8. Ebenezer Mission Male Voice Party (Mr. T. Turner Thomas). 9. Newcastle Glee and Madrigal Society (Mr. 1. R. Liddell). Of these, all but the Morriston Choir atten- ded. The competition commenced at three o'clock. The choirs gave an. excellent series of per- j formances, and that each number had a lot of supporters present was evident. At the close Sir Charles Stanford announced the re- sult, and Dr. M'Naught gave the points and the comments when the singers got to work, the order of the Test pieces was altered: the Mendelssohn piece first, Edward German's second, and Elgar's third. LLANELLY. I The time of the Mendelssohn piece was too II quick, and the dignity of the piece was lost. 1 The contrast was too pale, and the attack fell I off. The German piece was taken too fast, no mood was caught, and the intonation failed, but there was very good drilling. The Elgar piece was more difficult-, the technical diffi- culties being enormous. In the rendering the spirit was there, but not a certain execu- tion. They lost mood again and again. The bass was very good. The intonation fell badly. Marks- Medel.ssohn piece, 65; Ger- mans, 70; Elgar's, 60; total, 195. MID-RHONDDA. I I Started Mendelssohn piece spiritedly, but a wee bit too fast. Not very good intonation. No conspicuous merit in the performance. Too fast at the end, and if the accompani- ment had been a band they could not have played it. The rendering was, therefore, not an interpretation. The choir had very good conception, and in the German piece showed some delicacy, but oecasionaly wrong notes. Very good attack, and some poetry. The Elgar piece was sung with fair nervous energy I but not enough. On the whole a very fine performance. There Were soine very fine climaxes wrought up. The choir in one place recovered pitch by leaping suddenly a whole semi-tone—a very convenient way of recover- ing pitch, but should not be done when ad- judicators were present (laughter). It was a neat interpretation of the piece with some' imperfections. Marks :-Mendelssohn piece, 67: German's, 75; Elgar's 80; total 222. MAESTEG. I Good start in the Mendelssohn piece. There was some stir and bustle in the quick move- ment which was very effective. It was fer- vent but a little too hard of tone-not a blend; still a. good conception. In the German piece they were rough as a blend. A fair notion of the piece, but enough poetry. There was in the Elgar piece at the beginning absolutely no chord that could be followed. It was more like talking than singing. They were not on the notes. Many small mistakes were made, but some big ones. A very casual execution. He did not think they knew the piece well. They got so wrong at the end that it eas.ed to be music. Marks—Mendelssohn's piece, 70; German's, 72; Elgar's 50; total 192. BARGOED-TEIFY. I Here there was fine grip and musical tone. It was rather too fast. There was a certain E natural that everyone of the choirs went wrong over. Bass very good, and sometimes very effective. In this choir there was unity of attack, and well governed effects. Judg- ment and some dignity were revealed. There was good tone in the German piece, very musical, but intonation was somewhat uncer- tain. They secured an ominous' tone in the Elgar piece, and some- intensity which was re- quired. Then they began to lose pitch at an alarming Tate, and everything was clouded from that point right to the end of the piece. It was impossible for the basses to sing if the choir dropped more than half a tone. Marks Mendelssohn's piece, 85; Germans'c, 76: Elgar's 65; total, 226. I SWANSEA AND DISTRICT. I In the Mendelssohn piece there was a rich tone, rather too pointed an accent, but very effective. Tenor excellent, especially in the quartette. Much vigour and fire, but too fast, and not quite dignified enough. Had they sung it slower they would have been marked even higher. The Elgar part-song was tlne in tone, and some judgment. Fine performance but some exaggeration. Fine exhibition of choral singing. Marks—Mendelssohn piece, 80; Gorman's, 86; Elgar's 92; total, 256. DOWLAIS. I This choir secured the first prize. I Here in the Mendelssohn piece they had the right tempo kept back just as it ought to be. Dignified, broad, well planned, considerable finish and unity in the solo passages and quartette. The climax of the piece was also well-managed. Rather too fast at the end. Still it was clean and measured and finished. They heard some beautiful chords in the Ger- man piece. The rhythmic treatment was ex- cellent, cre-scendos not too jstep. A very enjoyable interpretation. It was noticeable in the Elgar piece that the inside parts of this choir were well iilled. Too often the in- side of a choir was the refuge for the desti- tit.e of voice, but here it was not so. There were some good musicians in the middle. The attack was first-rate in every way. The tenors made (some magnificent eaetets. The whole poem seemed to live. A fine performance, worthy of Wales at its best. Marks-Mendel- s80hn'8 piece, 90; German's, 94; Elgar's, 95; total, 279. I EBENEZER MISSION, SWANSEA. I i ISSIO-N, SWA-N-SEA. I In the Mendelssohn piece this small choir was not always dead in time, but the attack was very praiseworthy. They could not, how- ever, secure quite a necessary dignity of effect. Still, it was a fairly measured and broad tone, got rough now and then. Marks Mendelssohn's piece, 80; German's, 70; El- gar's, 70; total, 220. NEWCASTLE. I Began the Mendelssohn piece in the right- pace, dignified, but later the tenors were not good. The voices seemed to fail. The last movement was too fast altogether. Very good performance, because there was such good jugment, shown. There was very good tone shown in the German piece, but not a great amount of peotry. Marks Mendelssohn's piece, 85; German's, 88; Elgar's, 80; total, 245.

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