WALES ~ THE LAND OF SONG

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Gloria - Vivaldi and his AngelsWith the release of her fifth Analekta recording of Wales ~ The Land of Song, Shannon recalls her Welsh roots, the culture that gave voice to her passion for music. An immigrant to Canada, Shannon's father was a long-time member of the Ottawa Welsh Society and sang for many years with the Gwalia Singers. One of Shannon's first musical milestones came when, at the age of 15, she performed at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales. She returned to Canada with the silver cup in hand and as a proud ambassador of Welsh music!

PDF Notes from Shannon about the recording & from Seán Dagher about the arrangements

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Shannon Mercer, soprano
Skye Consort
Arrangements by Seán Dagher

Release date: March 2009 Analekta
Album ID: AN 2 9965

1. Y Fwyalchen (The Blackbird)   2:34
2. Codiad yr Hedydd (The Rising of the Lark)   2:13
3. Dydd Gŵyl Dewi (St. David's Day) by Seán Dagher   5:16
4. Suo Gân (Slumber Song)   4:26
5. Y Gog Lwydlas (The Grey Cuckoo)   3:42
6. Naid Tros Lannerch (A Leap O'er the Glade)   3:35
7. Y Gŵydd (The Loom)   5:18
8. Hyo y Frwynen (The Magic of the Rush)   3:11
9. Fenyw Fwyn (Gentle Maid)   3:10
10. Ar Lan y Môr (Down by the Sea)   4:16
11. Crwth (Welsh String Instrument)   3:11
12. Dafydd a Gareg Wen (David of the White Rock)   4:13
13. Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn (The Blooming Wheat)   3:19
14. Dacw Fuwch! (Look! A cow!)   5:03
15. Y Deryn Pur (The Gentle Dove)   3:11

 

PDF - An interview with Shannon about the recording and its launch in Ottawa

“Shannon Mercer seems incapable of singing anything less than beautifully. This collection of 15 traditional Welsh songs in a pure delight, not only on account of the pure clarity and technical mastery of Mercer’s voice.” (Ottawa Citizen, 11 April 2009)

“Accordion player Seán Dagher and his Skye Consort have blurred the line between folk and classical in this pleasant set of 15 traditional Welsh songs, gorgeously sung by Mercer. The Toronto-based soprano shows herself to be just as comfortable in a more relaxed idiom than her usual fare of art song and opera. Here is a major talent letting her hair down with a group of musicians who are clearly having a great time.” (Toronto Star, 14 April 2009)

“Once again the lovely soprano voice of Shannon Mercer rings clear and true, this time in a most warm and heartfelt performance of Welsh songs…quite an emotive impact.  Beautifully played, beautifully sung.” (Wholenote, May 2009)

“This disc is a gem, and you don't need to be able to pronounce titles like Fenyw Fwyn (Gentle Maid) or Y Fwyalchen (The Blackbird) to enjoy the superb music-making. Mercer sings beautifully in her light, radiant soprano, and has sparkling accompaniment from seven musicians from Montreal's Skye Consort. Accordionist Seán Dagher has created fine arrangements, deftly mixing instruments that include flute, harp and strings with Mercer's silvery tone. A highlight is Mercer's gorgeous rendition of the lullaby Suo Gân.” (Ottawa Citizen, 14 March 2009)