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Paul Spicer

“George Dyson enrolled as a non-collegiate student at Oxford and took his BMus successfully in 1909 before moving straight on to study for the DMus, which was conferred in 1917. It was for this examination that his Choral Symphony was written. The work was unknown before the research I undertook for his biography and it was a remarkable and exciting discovery in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

The two major choral works on this release show Dyson’s originality and mastery of the form. In following this path he gave us a whole series of dramatic choral and orchestral works including Nebuchadnezzar, The Blacksmiths, Agincourt, Sweet Thames run softly, Hierusalem, and biggest of all, Quo Vadis? All deserve to be reinvestigated and to become once more an important part of our choral landscape.”

Paul Spicer, British music exponent

DYSON, G.: Choral Symphony / St Paul's Voyage to Melita
George DYSON (1883–1964)
Choral Symphony1
St Paul’s Voyage to Melita2

Elizabeth Watts, Soprano1 • Caitlin Hulcup, Mezzo-soprano1
Joshua Ellicott, Tenor1,2 • Roderick Williams, Baritone1
The Bach Choir • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • David Hill


Born into a working-class family, George Dyson became one of the most important musicians and composers of his day. The previously unknown Choral Symphony was written as an examination work while Dyson was studying at Oxford, and it was only recently discovered at the Bodleian Library. Dyson relishes his dramatic chosen text from Psalm 107 on the expulsion from and homecoming of the Jews to Israel, a narrative that inspires trademark features that would make his later works so attractive. Its seascape finale links neatly with St Paul’s Voyage to Melita, another vivid text from which Technicolor musical images are conjured.

Listen to an extract from
Choral Symphony:
III. Largo

Watch the video trailer for this release
DYSON, G.: Symphony in G Major / Concerto da Chiesa / At the Tabard Inn
George DYSON (1883–1964)
Symphony in G major
Concerto da Chiesa

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • David Lloyd-Jones

“... a first-rate disc, superbly played.”
Penguin Guide ★★★

Listen to an extract from At the Tabbard Inn

More recordings of early 20th-century British music
The Sea • Enter Spring • Summer

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
“This fine disc makes a superb introduction to Frank Bridge’s orchestral music … it is simply well conducted, well played, and well recorded.”
  Listen to an extract from Enter Spring
BAX, A.:
Winter Legends • Morning Song
Saga Fragment

Wass • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
“… this is a fine release ... especially in the playing—sensitive and dramatic—of Wass.
The Bournemouth musicians are superb, and the solo violinist and trumpeter worthy of note. The sound of this recording, made in The Lighthouse, Poole, is clear and full,
with solid bass that brings out Bax’s use of lower instruments to create his
ominous undercurrents.”
  Listen to an extract from Saga Fragment
Clarinet Sonata • Piano Trio No. 3

Plane • Gould Piano Trio • Cooper • Adams
“… the performance is absolutely first-class and, with sound that is at once intimate and true, this valuable anthology can be welcomed with open arms.”
  Listen to an extract from Piano Trio No. 3 in A Major, "Per aspera ad astra":
III. Allegro maestoso e moderato
Piano Concerto
Johnson Over Jordan (Suite)

MacGregor • English Chamber Orchestra
“This is probably the finest version of the Britten Piano Concerto available …
The couplings, both rarities, are just as brilliantly played.”
  Listen to an extract from Piano Concerto in D major:
I. Toccata (Allegro molto e con brio)

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