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Larch Music Ltd.

Caerfyrddin - Brass Band - LM957

Caerfyrddin - Brass Band - LM957

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COMPOSER : Alex McGee


A four movement work describing the historic county town of Carmarthen. 

1. Fanfare 

The first movement is an opening Fanfare,

2. Castell Caerfyrddyn (Carmarthen Castle)

The second movement is a lament describing the now ruined castle. Carmarthen  Castle (Welsh: Castell Caerfyrddin) is a ruined castle inCarmarthen, West Wales. First built by Walter, Sheriff of Gloucester in the early 1100s, the castle was captured and destroyed on several occasions before being rebuilt in stone during the 1190s. The castle was captured by Owain Glyndŵr in 1405. Henry VII's father died at Carmarthen Castle in 1456. During the Wars of the Roses the castle fell to William Herbert and, during the Civil War, was captured by Parliamentary forces. It was dismantled by order of Oliver Cromwell in the mid 1600s.

It has been used as the site of Carmarthen's gaol until the 1920s. The remains of the castle were given a Grade I heritage listing in 1954 and is currently a tourist attraction and site of the town's Tourist Information Centre.

3. Pysgota Cwrwgl (Coracle Fishing)

The third movement is a Scherzo which depicts coracle fishing on the river Towy. Should you take an evening stroll down by the River Towy, if the weather and river conditions are suitable, you may be lucky enough to see a  pair of coracles float gently down river with a net suspended between them. The coracle man will hold the net in one hand and skilfully moving the paddle in a figure of eight motion in the other. As soon as a fish in caught, which many have described as a 'silent noise travelling from the fish, into the net and up into the fisherman's arm', the two coracles are drawn together by pulling at the net. Sewin (sea trout) or salmon being the chosen catch.

4. March

The Fourth movement is a March representing the town itself.    

Carmarthenshire in West Wales lies on the River Towy and claims to be the oldest town in Wales. Some variants of the Arthurian legend claim that Merlin was born outside the town and that he lies imprisoned in a cave in nearby Bryn Myrddin (Merlin's Hill), which stands right by the A40 trunk road.

The myth maintains that his groans can be heard issuing forth from the hill and will continue until he is called to help his fellow countrymen. It is also claimed that, when Merlin's Oak fell, it would be the downfall of the town.

For many years great effort was employed to brace the tree, situated in the town.  Although it eventually died, it is hoped that catastrophe was averted by preserving some bits in the Carmarthenshire County Museum.

Larger branches are in the Civic Hall in Nott Square and a statue of Merlin carved from another local tree stands in the town centre. St. Peter's Church, the largest parish church in Wales, also has the longest nave measuring 60 metres and its tower contains eight bells with the heaviest weighing just under a tonne.

It is surprising that few traces survive of the medieval town; however, a small section of Civil War defences, thrown up by the Royalists, survives on the south-west of the town. They are known as "The Bulwarks," and consist of an earthwork bank and a well-preserved four-sided bastion.


Suitable for Most Bands - Duration 8 mins (Approx.)

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