Blog posts by year and month March 2012

Posts (103)

  1. With Wales winning the Six Nations Grand Slam last weekend, musical ears and eyes are turning to Sunday's chart rundown, to see if Cwm Rhondda/Bread Of Heaven can break into the hit parade. Paul Child recorded the Millennium Stadium crowd singing the 1907 John Hughes hymn at half-time. It was rush-released yesterday, credited to Wales. Watch a video as Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau rang round the stadium: With a capacity of 74,000, the stadium held enough people to take the song into the top five if everyone bought a copy. Half the audience purchasing the charity single would bring it to the top 10. However, twice the capacity of the stadium would be needed to almost guarantee a chart-topper. Lauren Kreisler of the Official Charts Company said: "We wouldn't speculate as to how the song will do, but it's an interesting story. You'll have to wait till 4pm on Wednesday when we publish our midweek charts to find out how it's doing." Paul Child told the Western Mail: "It's an idea which came about because we wanted to get as many fans involved with the single as possible and Bread Of Heaven is famously sung on the terraces and throughout the stands so what better song to choose as the Grand Slam single. "But ultimately it's a celebration of this year's tournament. It's a way for fans to thank the team, letting them know how grateful we all are and how proud we are to get behind them." Cwm Rhondda/Bread Of Heaven is available in physical form at Tesco stores in Wales and on download sites. All proceeds from the single will be donated to the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust. Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

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  2. Loved for his on-stage magic trick buffoonery, trademark Fez hat and infectious laugh, comedian Tommy Cooper was born on this day in 1921. Tommy Cooper on 1952 programme It's Magic Though Cooper's family moved to his mother's native Devon when he was just a few years old, the comedian wa...

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  3. This week's show is now available via the BBC iPlayer. Please visit the link any time between now and the start of the next programme. I shan't blather on, really I shan't. I have a cold that'd stun a Tyrannosaurus Rex. My nose is redder than a drunk strawberry's. My head is full of drunk,...

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  4. You could be forgiven for thinking that being a family history researcher is not a seasonal job. But each year as Mothering Sunday approaches my inbox swells with queries relating specifically to mothers, and then as June approaches the same thing happens with Father's Day. So far this year ...

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  5. It looks like a mixed bag of weather for the Six Nation's Final on Saturday but fingers crossed the rain holds off and the roof being open makes no difference whatsoever to France. Currently the Met Office are warning of the odd heavy shower along with sunny spells for Cardiff tomorrow aftern...

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  6. I don't know anything about folk music, not really. I know I'm not much inspired by the folk stereotype: someone lost in the past with a finger in their ear. But using stereotypes to judge music is asinine: you could consign all country and western into a bin marked Billy Ray Cyrus, and all dubs...

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  7. William Williams remains one of the great religious figures of Wales. Along with Daniel Rowland and Howell Harris, he dominated Welsh religious thinking and attitudes for much of the 18th century. Born in 1717, Williams is often known simply as Pantycelyn, the name of the farm on which he liv...

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  8. There is always something a little bit quirky, a little bit left of centre in Frank Martin's music. It is seldom avant garde enough harmonically to offend the ear, but there will always be a little curiosity, whether it be in the technique used by the solo instrument, or, more commonly, the collection of instruments used. I mean, seriously, who would consider having a harp, a piano and a harpsichord as their three solo instruments? Martin seemed to have a soft spot for the harpsichord as it features in quite a lot of his output. Not bad going for an instrument that is generally confined to period instrument ensembles and the sound of which the famously acid-tongued conductor Sir Thomas Beecham likened to two skeletons copulating on a tin roof in a thunder storm. The combination of the three solo instruments is certainly an original sound - I quite like it. The work itself is quite a fun play, but it is quite tricky for ensemble; the orchestra is split in two, meaning we are very spread out, exacerbated by the large physical size of the solo instruments and it is quite difficult to hear each other! Sadly, the Martin is the only work I am needed for in this Friday's concert. I'm a bit gutted not to be in the Stravinsky Concerto in D as I haven't played it since the heady days of Irish Youth Orchestra. There is a brief, but brilliant, viola solo in the first movement that to me sounds like some sort of crazy jazz goblin. I think you can still hear echoes of his earlier string work, Apollon Musagète (1928), another true masterpiece of the string orchestra repertory, in this Concerto from the 1940s. I'm actually quite looking forward to listening to the rest of the concert on Friday evening. I've always struggled a bit with Lutosławski's music. I think Gwen (1st Violin) put it well yesterday when she said that you get a sense of achievement from getting from the beginning to the end and knowing you're in the right place, but I've just never really 'clicked' with his music. Friday will be a good opportunity for me to sit down and listen to his Double Concerto for Harp and Oboe (with soloists Catrin Finch, harp, and Lucas Macias Navarro, oboe) - perhaps I will enjoy the music more as a listener than as a player. Of course, the most important note from the studio this week is that I have found a bow! It's all very exciting, a bit like having a new toy, but better. I am now officially poor, but very pleased. It is a Dodd bow from the 1800s and is very elegant and classy. Next on my list of things to buy is a new viola case as my regular case is falling apart and my old-style case weighs a ton. My new bow deserves to travel in style you know! The Orchestra performs music by Martin, Lutosławski, Stravinsky and Honegger tonight at 7pm, at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay. Tickets are available by calling 0800 052 1812. The concert will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

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  9. Rhodri Morgan spoke to BBC Wales History about researching the next episode of Histories of Wales, Rebecca and the Radical Tradition. Rhodri's family were connected to the Rebecca Riots. Sunday 18th March, 1.30pm, Radio Wales. If ever there was an example of 'living history', making my ...

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  10. The weather's been quiet and settled this week with high pressure over us but it has brought a mixture of weather - from glorious sunshine to low cloud, mist, fog and even drizzle, which meteorologists call anti-cyclonic gloom! The best of the sunshine and the highest temperatures have bee...

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