Within the Castle Walls

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

Subtitle: Songs of Welsh Revolution

General Info

Year: 2012
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH
Cost: Score and Parts - $80.00  |   Score Only - $14.00


1. A Mighty Warrior
2. Over the Stone
3. Men of Harlech
4. Owain Glyndŵr's War Song


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marching Snares
  • Bells
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Within the Castle Walls is a collection of Welsh songs inspired by war and revolution. It is set mostly in a Renaissance style with a few contemporary twists thrown in from time to time. The first movement, A Mighty Warrior, tells a fascinating legend of the capture of King Richard the Lionheart. The second movement, Over the Stone, is a traditional Welsh song telling the story about a warrior who returns home from battle. This movement in particular inspired the title of the entire piece.

Men of Harlech is a famous march based on an old Welsh air. It is a great source of Welsh pride and nationalism as it describes the defending of Harlech Castle against English forces in 1468. The final movement, Owain Glyndwr’s War Song, is based on the tune The Rising of the Lark, a traditional Welsh march.

- Program note adapted from Brian Balmages

Within the Castle Walls was composed as a four-movement suite based upon a collection of Welsh songs inspired by war and revolution. The first movement, A Mighty Warrior, is based on the folk song Blondel’s Song. Blondel was the faithful servant of King Richard the Lionheart, and the song tells the story of the king’s capture and eventual rescue, in which Blondel is believed to have played a key role. The music enhances the folk song with original material in the style of Percy Aldridge Grainger. Owain Glyndŵr’s War Song, the concluding movement, is based on a song that pays tribute to Owain Glyndŵr, a Welsh nationalist who led a revolt against the English influence in the early 15th century. The arrangement calls for marching snare drums, which, combined with stately nature of the march, create the sound and style of a contemporary 15th century Welsh drum corps.

- Program note by Peter Riojas for the Marcus High School Wind Symphony concert program, 22 December 2012

Commercial Discography


Reference recording. Ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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