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George Dyson: The Canterbury Pilgrims / Yvonne Kenny, Robert Tear, Stephen Roberts, Richard Hickox

Audio Samples

>Dyson, George : At the Tabard Inn, overture for orchestra
>Dyson, George : Canterbury Pilgrims, for soloists, chorus & orchestra
>Dyson, George : In Honour of the City

Album Summary

>Dyson, George : At the Tabard Inn, overture for orchestra
>Dyson, George : Canterbury Pilgrims, for soloists, chorus & orchestra
>Dyson, George : In Honour of the City
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This re-release of The Canterbury Pilgrims forms part of the new Hickox Legacy commemorative series on Chandos Records, leading up to (and continuing beyond) the fifth anniversary, in November 2013, of the conductor's untimely death. The pioneering account of The Canterbury Pilgrims, a colorful but neglected work by Sir George Dyson, brilliantly depicts assorted characters from the prologues of Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales, while highlighting key aspects of Hickox's recorded legacy: the championing of neglected repertoire in general, and British repertoire in particular, as well as his special affinity with choral music. 'Chaucer's amusingly ironic depictions and Dyson's memorable tunes and imaginative orchestration are a winning combination. If you like Gerontius, Vaughan Williams and Ireland, you'll like Dyson. Go out and buy this disc *****'. - BBC Music Magazine 'This is a very fine recording... Every layer in the texture is exceptionally well defined and integrated, which is no mean feat when such elaborate forces - soloists, choir, and orchestra - are involved' - Gramophone Magazine

Penguin Guide
The glory of the piece is the choruses, which are splendidly sung here...The splendid Chandos recording is fully worthy of the vibrant music-making here.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This superb offering of a full-length cantata based on the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales bears out its reputation as Dyson's masterpiece. It's a fresh, tuneful work, aptly exuberant in its celebration of Chaucer. Following the scheme of Chaucer's Prologue, the 12 movements, plus Envoi, present a sequence of portraits, deftly varying the forces used, with the three soloists well contrasted in their characterisations and with the chorus acting as both narrator and commentator, providing an emotional focus for the whole work in two heightened sequences, the sixth and twelfth movements, moving and noble portraits of the two characters who aroused Dyson's deepest sympathy, the Clerk of Oxenford and the Poor Parson of a Town. If the idiom is undemanding, with occasional echoes of Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony and with passages reminiscent of Rachmaninov's The Bells, the cantata sustains its length well. Outstanding among the soloists is Robert Tear who not only characterises brilliantly but sings with admirable fullness and warmth. The beautiful, fading close, when Tear as the Knight begins the first tale, moving slowly off-stage, is most atmospherically done. Yvonne Kenny and Stephen Roberts sing well too, but are less distinctive both in timbre and expression. The London Symphony Chorus sings with incandescent tone, superbly recorded, and the orchestra brings out the clarity and colourfulness of Dyson's instrumentation.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Blackheath Concert Halls, England (09/30/1996-10/05/1996).

Yvonne Kenny, Robert Tear, Stephen Roberts, Hickox/London Symphony Chorus and London Symphony Orchestra

The world-premiere recording of Dyson's most well-known work, performed with great affection and bold expressiveness. As a bonus, we also get In Honor of the City, his first major choral piece. ~ Bruce Eder



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Works Details

>Dyson, George : At the Tabard Inn, overture for orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Chorus
  • Notes: Blackheath Concert Halls, England (09/30/1996-10/05/1996)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1943

>Dyson, George : Canterbury Pilgrims, for soloists, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Stephen Roberts (Bass-Baritone); Yvonne Kenny; Robert Tear (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Notes: Blackheath Concert Halls, England (09/30/1996-10/05/1996)
  • Running Time: 78 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1930

>Dyson, George : In Honour of the City
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Notes: Blackheath Concert Halls, England (09/30/1996-10/05/1996)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1928