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Tydi a Roddaist: Taith Gerddorol Arwel Hughes

Tydi a Roddaist: Taith Gerddorol Arwel Hughes

Arwel Hughes was one of the most prominent composers of his day and audiences across the country are familiar with his most famous work, the hymn tune Tydi a Roddaist (Thou Gavest).

In this special programme, world-famous conductor Owain Arwel Hughes, the composer's son, looks at his father's lesser known works, as well as his musical heritage.

The programme, part of S4C's arts series Sioe Gelf, follows Owain as he rehearses the National Youth Orchestra of Wales in a performance of Prelude for Orchestra, composed by Arwel Hughes in 1945 for the youth of Wales. The culmination of all the hard work is a memorable performance conducted by Owain at the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford.

As well as Owain's excursion with the orchestra, the programme goes on another journey - Arwel Hughes' own musical journey. On this journey, we will hear from some of those people who knew him, including Owain's brother and sister, Ieuan and Delun.

Born in Rhosllannerchrugog, one of ten children, Arwel showed early musical talent. He made an impression locally by providing the accompaniment for the silent films at the cinema next door to his home when he was just 14-years-old.

Among his compositions are two operas - Menna and Love is the Doctor - and he was the first living composer to have an opera performed by Welsh National Opera.

He composed his most famous work, Tydi a Roddaist, to the words of T. Rowland Hughes, while he waited for a train on the platform at Shrewsbury station the night before he was due to complete the work.

As head of music for the BBC in Cardiff, he promoted the work of Welsh composers including Alun Hoddinott, Daniel Jones, William Mathias and Grace Williams.

© 2012 S4C
O Gymru / Made in Wales