ON THIS PRECIOUS EARTH (2016) 11'
Commissioned by Tŷ Cerdd
1. Diminishing Glory
2. Under the Night Sky LISTEN
3. Lament for Paris 19.11.15 LISTEN
1st perf: National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales, Peter Harrison, conductor, Great Hall, Swansea University, UK. 21 April, 2017
Pub. Tŷ Cerdd, 2017
THE PATH THROUGH THE WOODS (2011) 12'
solo alto recorder – descant recorder group – str
Commissioned by the Welsh Sinfonia with funds from the PRS for Music Foundation
1st perf: Pamela Thorby, recorder, Welsh Sinfonia, youth recorder ensemble, Mark Eager, conductor, Temple of Peace, Cardiff, 10 April 2011
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref HL400
A reduction for alto recorder and piano (for rehearsal purposes only) is available for purchase, S&B, ref Y293
[The Path through the Woods] was an interesting juxtaposition of old and new idioms, displaying interesting uses of orchestral textures. Thorby was very impressive and was made all the more remarkable by her stage presence. Credit also to the young recorder players who performed so admirably.
Mike Simms, Western Mail, 12 April 2011
LIGHTS IN THE CITY (2009) 9'
220.127.116.11. – 18.104.22.168. – timp – perc (3) – pf – str
1st perf: City University Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Weeden, conductor, LSO St Luke’s, London, 29 April 2010
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref HL393
TIRLUNIAU / LANDSCAPES (2000) 24'
22.214.171.124. – 126.96.36.199. – hp – perc – str
Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Promenade Concerts
II. The Old Man of Storr
III. Castell y Bere LISTEN
IV. Lights in the Bay LISTEN
1st perf: BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tadaaki Otaka, conductor, Royal Albert Hall, London, 25 July 2000.
Simultaneous broadcast on BBC Radio 3
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref HL345
In the opening movement,‘Cromlech’, the piquant combination of xylophone and piccolo hovered over sighing strings that in the second movement (‘The Old Man of Storr’) seemed to be reassembling shards of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande . . . the elusive melody that had spread through the orchestra [in the third movement]. . . prepared the way for the exuberantly urban, almost minimalist surge of the final section,‘Lights in the Bay’.
Nick Kimberley, The Observer, 30 July 2000
Given the dark portentous visual images expected, Samuel’s use of the orchestra is surprisingly crisp and bright-edged. Her melodic and harmonic style is similarly bold, far from pastel impressionism.
Matthew Rye, The Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2000
Each of the four movements is inspired by a remote Welsh or Scottish scene. Rhythms are craggy. The largo misterioso breathes druidic solemnity in the lowing of a cool alto flute.
Rick Jones, The Evening Standard, 26 July 2000
SUMMER PATH /LLWYBR HÂF(2000) 8'
solo hp – str
Commissioned by the Beaumaris Festival with funds from the Arts Council of Wales
1st perf: Osian Ellis, harp, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Hose, cond, Beaumaris Festival, Anglesey, 3 June 2000.
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref. HL346
DAWNSIAU’R NANT /DANCES OF THE STREAM (1999) 15' LISTEN
188.8.131.52. – 184.108.40.206. – timp – xyl – mar – vib – hp – pf – perc(3) – str
Commissioned by St David’s Hall, Cardiff, with funds provided by the Arts Council of Wales, for the Welsh Proms 1999
1 Dawns yr haul ar y nant (Dance of the sun on the stream) (I)
2 Dawns y cymylau tywyll (Dance of the dark clouds)
3 Dawns yr haul ar y nant (Dance of the sun on the stream) (II)
4 Dawns y gwlaw ar y nant (Dance of the rain on the stream)
5 Dawns yr haul ar y nant (Dance of the sun on the stream) (III)
1st perf: BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Owain Arwel Hughes (cond), St David’s Hall, Cardiff, 15 July 1999; 1st broadcast perf: same performers, 9 November 1999, BBC Radio 3.
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref. HL335
This work of great immediacy made a striking impression in all five sections, which emerge as a cohesive whole. The bright opening with its rippling gesture on woodwind and piano, punctuated with rhythmic motifs from the rest of the orchestra, contrasted strongly with the darker, more sinister sections . . . Composed in bold colours and strong emotions, this was a splendid performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales . . . Let’s hope it receives many further performances.
Michael Bell, The Western Mail, 17 July 1999
SCENES FROM AN ARIA LISTEN
solo ob – 2hn – mar – str
Commissioned by the Presteigne Festival with funds from the Arts Council of Wales
1st perf: Ruth Scott (ob), Jane Hanna, Richard Bourn (hns), Christopher Brannick (mar), Presteigne Festival Orchestra, George Vass (cond), St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne, 29 August 1996.
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref. HL317
A warmly lyrical piece where a solo oboe gradually succumbs to the blandishments of a persuasive orchestra to combine in a gorgeously sentimental melodic conclusion, no sooner arrived at than tantalisingly left.
Christopher Morley, The Birmingham Post, 31 August 1996
BRASS EXPRESS (1995) 6'
solo tpt – 220.127.116.11. – 18.104.22.168. – timp – vib – pf – perc(2) – str
75th Anniversary commission, College of Estate Management, Reading University
1st perf: Anne McAneney (tpt), Reading University Orchestra, Graham Treacher, cond, Reading University, 18 March 1995.
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref. HL323
. . . an exhilarating dash with virtuoso trumpet playing. . .
Reading Chronicle, 22 March 1995
ELEGY SYMPHONY (1981) 22'
22.214.171.124. – 126.96.36.199. – timp – cel – perc(4) – 2hp – str
Concert commission, St Louis Symphony Orchestra.
I. Catena – II. Aria -- III. Scherzo -- IV. Finale
1st perf: St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin (cond), St Louis, Missouri, USA, 2 October 1981; broadcast on National Public Radio stations throughout the USA, winter, 1981.
Pub. S&B. Score and parts available for rental, ref. HL322
TALIESIN (2016) LISTEN
Commissioned by Tŷ Cerdd
1st perf: National Youth Brass Band of Wales, Ian Porthouse, conductor, Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, Wales, 30 July, 2017.
Pub. Tŷ Cerdd, 2017
[T]he commissioning of new works from leading Welsh composers, this year, Rhian Samuel, has proved both effective and enlightening. That was certainly the case with her playful, increasingly febrile ‘Taliesin’, inspired by the mythical Mabinogion story of shape-shifting love; the composer’s sparse, closely balanced scoring a welcome opportunity in an age of over-written, needless complexity, to hear the delicate inner workings of a brass band in continual motion.
Iwan Fox, 4barsrest, 31 July, 2017