Grace Williams's Missa Cambrensis
On Tuesday March 1st, at St David’s Hall, Cardiff and on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Cymru, we will hear a performance of the Missa Cambrensis by Grace Williams. This is only the second performance ever of this great work. It was first performed in June, 1971 and has remained as an enigmatic work ever since.
In the audience in Llandaff Cathedral for the first performance of the Missa Cambrensis was Vanessa Hill. Here she is talking about that unfortunate evening with Gwyn L Williams, Director of Ty Cerdd. The conversation ends with a performance of Carol Nadolig in which Grace Williams sets the words of Saunders Lewis. It was later incorporated into the Missa Cambrensis. Here it is performed by the Seiriol Singers conducted by John Hywel.
On October 19th, 1960, Grace Williams contributed a talk in the series Composer’s Workshop on the Welsh Home Service. Her script is reproduced here by kind permission of BBC Cymru Wales.