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LLIO RHYDDERCH "Telyn" Fflach Tradd CD196H

Many of the general public would buy this CD merely because it is Welsh Harp Music - I'd buy it just for the pleasure of knowing it has been created by a virtuoso and authority in this field.

Here's the Welsh lesson ... Telyn - Harp; Telynor/Telynores - Harpist; ap - son of; y Crythor - the Crwth or Fiddle player (Harpists are named by their parishes, but there can only be one in each parish - so you have to be good!) Trained by the famous Nancy Richards, Telynores Maldwyn, and Freda Holland, Telynores Prydain, thus becoming the next in an unbroken lineage of harpists recorded as far back as the fourteenth century on the island of Anglesey, (Gwyn ap Telynor - 1352).

Llio received many of her tunes by aural transmission but also studied the manuscripts of the old harpers and fiddlers. Both her Harps, triple and single action have been passed on and were built around the 1820s. Because of the way Llio learned her tradition, there is a certain amount of 'tinc' which basically translates to a magical style of the old harpers, this is not evident in all Welsh harpers. She too, is an outstanding teacher of this ancient minstrel tradition and some of her finest pupils have been invited to play with here on this CD, along with other musicians of notable talent in Wales.

I think that this CD will not just sit in my collection for posterity. I enjoyed listening to all the tracks but the second track which includes "Lliw Lili Ymysg Drain" (The Colour of the Lily Amidst the Thorns) and Conset Gruffudd Rowland Y Crythor is so atypical of some of the pseudo-harpists tonking their way around Wales. The third track (... phew! aren't these titles long!) a simple yet effective set of 'calling' phrases, draws you in to listen! You don't have to listen too hard to hear the 'tinc', like pearls falling onto stone from a broken necklace. Listening to the CD, she majestically portrays a particular emotion and intellectuallity which is unique to Welsh harp music. To watch her live is a treasure and she is regarded with great respect by fellow musicians.

J. Gwenllian

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This album was reviewed in Issue 29 of The Living Tradition magazine.