Y Santes Dwynwen (The Saint Dwynwen) is the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers. Joseph Parry’s piece is for Male voices with words by the poet Gwynionydd (Benjamin Williams) and was used as a test piece in the 1896 Llandudno National Eisteddfod. The beginnings of a piano accompaniment to this piece can be seen in the manuscript although it disappears after a couple of pages. Noted at the top of the score by Parry himself (as a help to any non-Welsh performers of his music) is a short description of who Dwynwen was: “the smile of bliss, the Venus of the Britons; a woman’s name, the daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog”.
Through Discover Welsh Music’s digital archive you can explore the history of Welsh music-making. Discover Welsh Music is a digital hub for the music of Wales. The resource currently focuses on five composers from Yr Archif Gerddorol Gymreig / The Welsh Music Archive at the National Library of Wales : William Mathias, Dilys Elwyn-Edwards, Grace Williams, Joseph Parry and Alun Hoddinott. Each composer has a profile page where you can explore their manuscripts, learn about their lives and listen to the work they created.
Discover Welsh Music is managed by Tŷ Cerdd – Music Centre Wales and was created in partnership with Faber Music Publishing and The National Library of Wales.
Dr Joseph Parry Manuscripts at NLW ( https://archives.library.wales/index.php/dr-joseph-parry-manuscripts) comprise music manuscripts, [early 1860s]-[late 1890s], of Dr Joseph Parry, including orchestral suites, overtures and symphonies, piano sonatas and preludes and fugues for the organ (accumulated by his publishers, Snell & Sons); together with a draft autobiography and other papers, 1871-1903 (in the possession of his daughter). Arranged according to NLW reference numbers: NLW MSS 9281-9297, 9459, 9660-9661.
Nia Mai Daniel, Head of Archives and Manuscripts Section