The Crystal Spring/Y Ffynnon Risial
This accessible recording by the U.S.-based trio Lyrica is a well-crafted and melodic interpretation of some well-known English and Welsh tunes. Lyrica (Mary Davis Fetherston on cello, Dianne Magill on flute and Holly Pratt on harp) has produced a CD that is professional and easy-on-the-ears. While many of these instrumentals are well known, there are some new finds here and some interesting new interpretations.
Thoughtfully, the CD's bilingual booklet provides some insights into the folksongs themselves and how each song found its way into the repertoire.
Such songs as "Y Ferch O Plwyf Pendaren," "Suo Gan" and "Llywyn Onn" are well-known in Wales. "Seeds of Love" is a pretty 300-year-old melody discovered by Cecil Sharp.
"I Love My Love" is an interestingly arranged tune of Cornish origin. Lyrica's arrangement of "All Through the Night (Ar Hyd y Nos)" is a bit whimsical for my taste, however.
This soft-edged CD should be picked up by every craft shop in Wales (England, too!) as an introduction to the music of those neighboring nations.
Those looking for a more challenging or dynamic interpretation of Welsh standards might find this CD a little unsatisfying. For such listeners (particularly those who enjoy the vocal side of music) I would recommend instead baritone Bryn Terfel's fine CD We'll Keep a Welcome or folksinger Dafydd Iwan's Caneuon Gwerin. But, for those wishing pretty Welsh-themed instrumental music that does not make great demands of the listener, Y Ffynnon Risial is ideal.