St David's Day Concert Review (2)

Thursday 06 March 2014

A Review by Robert Lloyd published in the Llanelli Star
St David's Day Concert at Ffwrnes. A Loud Applause production featuring The Three Welsh Tenors, Côr Meibion Llanelli, Bridgend Male Choir and Parti Llwchwr, with compere Garry Owen.

It may be that the TV company next door to Llanelli's swish new Ffwrnes theatre missed a trick by not televising this St David's Day concert. Tickets were like hot cakes, and those lucky enough to get a seat were rewarded with a dazzling evening full of Welsh passion and hwyl.

This was an evening worthy of recording for posterity, and a great showcase for Wales as the land of song. The Three Welsh Tenors — Aled Hall, Alun Rhys-Jenkins and Rhys Meirion — never disappoint, but they were never going to be able to steal the show in the face of stiff competition from the combined choirs of Côr Meibion Llanelli and Bridgend Male Choir. They teamed up with the choirs for the finale of Tydi a Roddaist — Amens, which provided a spine-tingling climax to a great evening's entertainment.

The scene was set at the outset, with the choirs ticking off first-half crowd-pleasers Isis and Osiris, Speed Your Journey, You'll Never Walk Alone and A-men. The ladies of Parti Llwchwr made sure girl power was heard, with Pan Fyddo'r Nos, Dysg i mi garu Cymru and Calon Lan (The Rose). Côr Meibion Llanelli's solo spot featured a well-known composition by the choir's musical director Eifion Thomas, Cri yn y nos. Parti Llwchwr's second half appearance featured Ymlaen a'r Gan, Unwaith eto Nghymru annwyl and Lausanne. In between, Messrs Hall, Rhys-Jenkins and Meirion served up their exceptional repertoire of classics and cheeky chappy humour. For the finale, the choirs were moving like a well-oiled juggernaut, singing Yfory, Llanfair, Myfanwy and Tywi a Roddaist.

BBC journalist and presenter Garry Owen was the amiable host for the evening and the musical accompaniment was provided by Caradog Williams, Rhiannon Wiliams-Hale and Stephanie Bailey. Concert promoter Cerith Owens was delighted that the concert "captured the public's imagination". It would have been nice for the whole thing to have been captured for posterity by the TV cameras, but you can't have everything. Besides, there's always next year!