George Dyson: Choral Symphony; St. Paul's Voyage to Melita

George Dyson: Choral Symphony; St. Paul's Voyage to Melita

by David Hill


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English composer George Dyson has fared well since the modernist stranglehold on concert programming was broken, and the rediscovery of his "Choral Symphony" in 2014, in Oxford University's Bodleian Library, was cause for celebration. The symphony was a student work (if doctoral), but it is largely the equal of the later "St. Paul's Voyage to Melita," appearing on the album as a natural complement with its ocean imagery. The "Choral Symphony" is just that: not an oratorio, but a set of discrete choral movements (much of the first one is an orchestral introduction) that build toward a powerful finale. Sample that finale, a setting of the later verses of Psalm 107 with their action-packed sea imagery. The texts of all four movements come from the same psalm, which is the key to the work: it is not meant to have dramatic forward thrust, but is a lyrical, if gigantic, reflection on that psalm. As an orchestrator, Dyson had already found his footing, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under David Hill does not falter in the more complex passages, nor overwhelm the Bach Choir in the vocal material. "St. Paul's Voyage to Melita," which has the same kind of oratorio
ot-oratorio quality, is a more accomplished work harmonically, but the "Choral Symphony," with its compact, ten-minute movements, could easily add color to any choral festival.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/10/2017
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313377077
catalogNumber: 8573770
Rank: 138399


  1. St. Paul's Voyage to Melita, for tenor, chorus & orchestra
  2. Choral Symphony (Psalm 107)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Hill   Primary Artist

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