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Cat. No. CHAN 10308 X Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10308 - Dyson: Symphony in G/ Overture: At the Tabard Inn/In Honour of the City
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Audio Sample

Available From: 11 April 2005
"Symphony in G (1937) is a rather bald title, but, as is so often with Dyson, there is more to it than meets the eye. G, with its dominant of D, is the richest and most resonant of all string keys, because every open string on every instrument – double-bass, cello, viola, violin – belongs in the G major scale. English composers over the centuries – Purcell, Handel, Elgar, Britten – have all been quick to exploit this wonderful sonorous phenomenon. In addition, Dyson shares with these composers a sure-fire sense of the dramatic – almost certainly derived from his admiration for Richard Strauss, as are his orchestral brilliance and his feeling for lyrical melody. Although Dyson possessed a technical expertise that was as irreproachable as that of any other of Stanford’s pupils, his sensibility was poetic and lyrical rather than intellectual or academic.

Apart from a few church pieces, In Honour of the City (1928) was Dyson’s first

choral work. It is a setting of five stanzas by the Scottish poet William Dunbar. The work was built on a traditional foundation, but was sufficiently assured and distinctive to establish Dyson as a choral composer of distinction. At the Tabard Inn (1943) was intended as a prelude to his famous choral work The Canterbury Pilgrims. In it Dyson takes episodes from the larger work and produces a tuneful and evocative concert overture. Leopold Stokowski, who conducted the work in 1949, remarked that he found it ‘a masterpiece of characterisation’.

Dyson’s style is warm and direct, yet elusive: it bears the influences of Strauss, Delius and Vaughan Williams but is unique in its expression. Dyson offers us a far-reaching and deeply satisfying vision of precious and enduring values. His distinctive compositions seem to epitomise the very best of English music.


Hickox and his CLS forces do Dysons immensely personable music proud, and the sound is warm and true to match.
Hi-Fi News on the Symphony in G

This is a very fine recording, beautifully set in the glowing acoustic of the Blackheath Hall.
Gramophone on In Honour of the City and At the Tabard Inn

An exceptionally fine work, with an unexpected richness of orchestration… unlike any other English symphony of its time… Hickox conducts a splendid performance…
The Daily Telegraph on the Symphony in G


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