Saturday, April 10, 2021
George Thomson was the Edinburgh publisher who commissioned Beethoven and other composers for settings of folk songs from the British Isles. In his preface to “Select Collection of Welsh Airs” he describes how he collected them: he read diaries and descriptions of travels, asked harpists from Wales to provide unpublished tunes, and traveled to Wales himself to conduct research. He also recruited both Robert Burns and Walter Scott to write new texts for some of the songs. “Songs from Wales”, published in 1817, included the 26 arrangements by Beethoven and four by Haydn.
Here is the entire set of Beethoven’s Welsh songs, WoO 155, for voice and piano trio: https://youtu.be/MUc8lFelPcg