On "An Eala Bhn" - (2018)   


 

From Wikipedia's article:  "An Eala Bhn ('The White Swan') is a Scottish Gaelic love song composed by Dmhnall Ruadh Chorna during the Battle of the Somme. It is addressed to Magaidh NicLeid (Maggie MacLeod), his sweetheart at the time of World War I." 

 

The 1916 Battle of the Somme was horrific, with an estimated million dead and wounded. This ballad, which has become well known and beloved, sings with rue:  "Sad I consider my condition / With my heart engaged with sorrow / From the very time that I left / The high bens of the mist...."   Beauty mingles with sadness in a time of madness as trench warfare in all its brutality was visited on so many men. Thus the cadence at this end of this treatment of the melody ends with a hushed dissonance. The filigree of decorations are drawn from piper's gestures.

 

Another of this poet's works testifies:  "What Id said proved true: / Hundreds were undone; /  The earth erupted / And the skies went crazy."

 

Dmhnall Ruadh Chorna (1887-1967)

 

2 pages, circa 4' 30" - an MP3 demo is here: 

 

The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano score.

 

On "An Eala Bhn"