Somm Recordings – November release
SOMM Recordings announces the first complete survey on disc of George Dyson’s music for solo piano including five premiere recordings performed by Simon Callaghan in a specially priced two-CD set.
Callaghan is joined by Clíodna Shanahan for the first recording of the two-piano version of Concerto Leggiero, a mature work originally composed for piano and string orchestra. Almost classical in its sense of economy, the two-piano arrangement boasts a remarkable lyricism.
Born in Halifax in 1833, Dyson studied with Charles Villiers Stanford and Hubert Parry before becoming one of the most prominent British composers and distinguished teachers of his generation. Best known for his choral work, his piano music spans his compositional career. Heard in its entirety, it provides valuable new insights into his development as a composer.
Other first recordings include the seven-year-old Dyson’s first work for piano, Untitled Piano Piece, the exam board commission for young pianists, Twelve Easy Pieces, and The Open Window and Six Lyrics, character pieces designed to encourage young pianists.
Among other works included are the Debussy-accented Primrose Mount, the dazzling set of fugues Bach’s Birthday and so-called ‘War Epigrams’, inspired by Dyson’s experiences on the Western Front before being invalided home
Dyson biographer Paul Spicer provides the authoritative booklet notes.