Karl's Hungary for success

Welsh composer Karl Jenkins has revealed to Classic FM that he's working on an extraordinary new project, which he hopes will get a double premiere next year at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and in Budapest.

Karl has come across a Hungarian poem called The Bards of Wales, which he's now setting to music. A walesi bárdok was written by Janos Arany in 1857 and was disguised as an Old English ballad to escape the wrath of the Austrian censors. It tells the legend that Edward I sent 500 Welsh bards to the stake after defeating the Welsh in 1277, to prevent an uprising.

Karl told Classic FM’s Bob Jones: "I knew nothing about this poem 12 months ago. It's written in Hungarian and all children in Hungary have to learn it at school. It's very political, and is about King Edward's invasion of Wales crushing the Welsh rebels. They see it as analogous with their own suffering as part of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. Apparently it's very popular in Hungary."

Hear the complete interview with Karl Jenkins here