Catalogue p.3 WORKS FOR SOLO VOICE/VOICE w. PIANO

SOLO VOICE / VOICE AND PIANO

YR ALARCH (THE SWAN) (2016) (Anonymous 14th century) 6' 
Version for solo soprano 
Text translated by the composer 

1st perf: Elin Manahan Thomas, Powis Hall, Bangor University, 3 March 2016 (Bangor Music Festival). 
Pub. S&B. Copies available for purchase, ref Y341 



A SWIFT RADIANT MORNING (2015) (Charles Hamilton Sorley) c.17'
baritone and piano 
Commissioned by the 2015 Three Choirs Festival 

I.  Rooks
II.  The Sounds of War
III. The Signpost      LISTEN   
IV. In Memoriam   LISTEN     
V. Earth’s King

1st perf: Roderick Williams (baritone), Susie Allan (piano), Holy Trinity Church, Hereford, 25 July 2015 (Three Choirs Festival);  1st broadcast: BBC Radio 3, same performers, 28 July, 2015.
Pub. S&B. Copies available for purchase, ref Y329 

The highlight was A Swift Radiant Morning, five settings of Charles Sorley by Rhian Samuel,a festival commission of great originality which calls for semi-spoken or even shouted effects from the soloist. They were written with Williams in mind, and Samuel’s oblique harmonies plus the explosive evocation of war by this young poet who died at Loos in 1915, aged 20, made a universal impression.                    
                                         Roderic Dunnett, bachtrack.com, August 2015
                                                                                          
Samuel set the text in an intensely dramatic fashion and her music was graphically performed by Williams and Allan. . .  The music seemed to me, at a first hearing, to be a gripping and moving response to the words. 
                          John Quinn, seenandheard-international.com, July 2015 



WILDFLOWER SONGBOOK (May, 2014) (Anne Stevenson) 19'
Three songs for mezzo-soprano and piano
Commissioned by the Nicholas John Trust for the Oxford Lieder Festival


1. Naming the Flowers LISTEN                                                
2. Rosebay Ballad
3. Digitalis  LISTEN             

1st perf: Anna Stéphany, mezzo-soprano, Sholto Kynoch, piano, Holywell Music Room, Oxford (Oxford Lieder Festival) 
 29 October, 2015; 1st broadcast, BBC Radio 3, same performers, 6 Sept 2016. 
Pub. Tŷ Cerdd, 2016



THE GAZE  (Dec. 2013) (Wm. Shakespeare) c.6'
soprano and piano
Commissioned by Caroline Macphie for the CD ’Love said to me’, Stone Records

1st perf: Caroline MacPhie, soprano, Joseph Middleton, piano, 22 Mansfield Street, London, 9 December, 2013; 1st USA performance: Patricia Goble, soprano, Russell Hirshfield, piano, Wheeler Concert Hall, Casper Community College, Wyoming, USA,1 March, 2015, 4.00 pm.
Pub. Tŷ Cerdd, 2015



SUMMER SONGS (2012) c.7'
 medium/high voice and piano 
            
I.  In Summer (Denise Levertov)  
II.  A Dragonfly in the Sun (Zulfikar Ghose)  LISTEN    

1st perf: James Gilchrist (tenor), William Vann (piano), The Forge, Camden Town, London, 10 May 2012 (London English Song Festival) 
Pub. S&B, ref Y297 



MOON AND BIRDS (2011) (A.Stevenson & E. Dickinson) 11'
version for medium voice and piano 

 I.  Blackbird (Anne Stevenson)                      
 II.  The moon is distant (Emily Dickinson)  
III.  Bird in hand (Anne Stevenson)   
 IV.  On not being able to look at the moon (Anne Stevenson)

Pub. S&B. Copies available for purchase, ref Y291 



SPRING DIARY (2010) (Anne Stevenson)  13' 
baritone and piano 

I.  Arrival Dream
II.  Snow Squalls
III. It Happens
IV. East Wind
V. A Clearer Memory  LISTEN    
                         
1st perf: Jonathan Sells (baritone), Ja Yeon Kang (pf), City University, London, 5 Feb 2010 
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase, ref Y272 



YR ALARCH (THE SWAN) (2009) (Anonymous 14th century) 6' 
solo baritone 
Text translated into English by the composer.

1st UK perf: Gwion Thomas, St Joseph’s Church, Highgate, London, 18 Jan 2009; 1st USA perf: Matthew Hoch, Julie Collins Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, Alabama, 11 Jan, 2018. Toured throughout the southern USA by Matthew Hoch in 2018. 
Pub. S&B.  Copies available for purchase,  ref Y258 



THE FLOWING SAND (2006) (Samuel Beckett) 15' 
baritone and piano 
Commissioned by Cardiff University with funds from the Arts Council of Wales 

I.  what would I do
II.  my way is in the sand
III. Da Tagte Es   LISTEN    
IV. Roundelay
V. saying again
             
1st perf: Adam Green (baritone), Indre Petrauskaite (pf), Temple of Peace, Cardiff, 9 March 2006. (Opening concert, Beckett/Proust/Deleuze conference, School of European Studies, Cardiff University) 
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase, ref Y230 

As always with Rhian Samuel’s music there is great craftsmanship and powerful rhetoric in both the vocal line and piano writing . . . I am drawn to the still centre of the group, a song just one page long, ‘Da Tagte es’. With its austere  piano texture at beginning and end, and rapid ignition of passion in the middle, it could feel too extreme, but it doesn’t  – instead the simplicity of means is haunting and the writing is supremely effective.
                                                                Sue Anderson, Singing, Winter 2006 



NANTCOL SONGS (2003) (Anne Stevenson) 9'
medium/high voice and piano
Commissioned by the Presteigne Festival 

I. The Wind, the Sun and the Moon
II. A Perfect View 

1st perf (A Perfect View): Gillian Keith (soprano), Simon Lepper (pf ), St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne, 25 August 2003, as part of ‘A Garland for Presteigne’, celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Presteigne Festival. 
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase, ref  Y213

. . . Rhian Samuel’s colourful and appropriately angular portrayal of a Snowdonian peak in ‘A Perfect View’. . . 
                                            David Hart, The Birmingham Post, 27 August 2003



SONGS OF EARTH AND AIR (1983, rev. 2002) 25' 
medium voice and piano 

I.  April Rise (Laurie Lee)   
II.  The Kingfisher (W. H. Davies) 
III.  Snowdrop (Jon Silkin)
IV.  A Warm Rain (Kenneth Leslie)

1st perf (I & II): Edmund LeRoy (baritone), Kirt Pavitt (pf), St Louis Conservatory of Music, St Louis, Missouri, USA, 27 Feb 1983; 1st perf (complete cycle): Sharon Mabry (mezzo-soprano), Patsy Wade (pf), King’s College, London, 4 Oct 1984. 
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase, Y204, Y205, Y206 and Y207 

The texts are set with great sensitivity . . . the organisation of musical materials is always in the service of the text, never abstracted from it. . . . Miss Samuel has resolved the age-old dilemma of the text-singer-accompaniment relationship by creating a keyboard part which is not so much an accompaniment as an instrumental commentary on the text. 
                        Michael Beckerman, St Louis Globe-Democrat, 1 March 1983



CERDDI HYNAFOL / ANCIENT SONGS (2001) 11' 
mezzo-soprano and piano
Commissioned by the Fishguard Festival

I.  Hwiangerdd Dinogat (Lullaby for Dinogat)
II.  Galarnad Heledd (Heledd’s Lament)  LISTEN    
III.  Crŷs y Mab (The Young Man’s Shirt)

1st perf: Joanne Thomas (mezzo-soprano), Ingrid Surgenor (pf), Fishguard Festival, Fishguard, Wales,  21 July 2001;  1st broadcast perf: 24 August 2001 (BBC Radio 3) 
Pub. S&B. Copies available for purchase, ref S&B Y183



THE WHITE AMARYLLIS (1991) (May Sarton)  23' 
medium/high voice and piano

I. Celebration  
II. The Snow Light   
III. Before Dawn 

1st perf: Sharon Mabry (mezzo-soprano), Patsy Wade (pf), Austin Peay University, Clarksville, Tennessee, USA, 17 October 1991.
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase,  ref AC162 



BEFORE DAWN (1988) (May Sarton) 9½'
medium/high voice and piano 
No. III from The White Amaryllis (see above) 

1st perf: Sharon Mabry, mezzo-sop, Patsy Wade, pf, British Music Information Centre, London, 29 June 1988; 1st broadcast perf: same performers, 27 October 1988 (WGBH Boston).
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase, S&B ref H406 

 [Before Dawn is]... a poignant new setting of a May Sarton text about mourning – almost Tristan-esque in its  harmony, and with lots of dramatic shifts in volume level before its final resolution on an angry low note. 
                     James Wierzbicki, St Louis Post Dispatch, 15 September 1988 

 Before Dawn speaks from quiet rage and is set to touching poetry about someone’s ability to mourn . . . The vocal  line is full of anxious crescendos and striking half-spoken melodic lines. 
               Whitney Smith, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 27 September 1989



THE HARE IN THE MOON (1978) (Ryokan) 9' 
soprano and piano 
First prize, 1978 Forum for Composers, St Louis, Missouri, USA 
Text translated by Geoffrey Bownas and Anthony Thwaite 

1st USA perf: Carole Gaspar (soprano), Christine Smith (pf), Forest Park College, St Louis, Missouri, 28 March 1978. 1st UK perf: Kym Amps (soprano), Simon Nicholls (pf), Reading University, 1 May, 1993.  
Pub. S&B  Copies available for purchase, ref H412 

Samuel has invented a magical atmosphere through angular vocal lines that switch from singing to speaking. . . . Enjoy singing this short work, while having fun telling the story. The audience will be mesmerised if the singer is totally immersed in the telling of the tale.                 
                   Sharon Mabry, NATS Journal (USA), September/October 2000               

[The Hare in the Moon] mixed narration with dramatic coloratura passages in a delightful account of a Japanese folk tale.

                                          Simon Collings, The Oxford Times, 14 April 2010