Dyson, George: St Paul’s Voyage to Melita. Rental
Full score, vocal scores and instrumental material
Duration: 30 minutes
For tenor solo and SATB choir, with two flutes, piccolo (optional), two oboes, cor anglais (optional), two clarinets, bass clarinet (optional), two bassoons, contra-bassoon (optional), four horns, three trumpets in C (third trumpet optional), three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (three players), harp, organ (optional), and strings
Dyson’s first Three Choirs Festival commission, written for Hereford in 1933 when he was forty and already a leading exponent of the English choral tradition, St Paul’s Voyage to Melita is an extraordinary rendering of Chapter 27 of the Acts of the Apostles, a highly dramatic account of the journey to Rome up to the point of the shipwreck on the island of Melita (Malta). The composer’s consummate powers of musical description effortlessly convey scene and atmosphere in this vivid and action-packed cantata: from the ominous opening brass chords followed by the bleakness of the sea with an evocation of mournful seagulls, to the stillness of being becalmed, the violence of the Mediterranean storm, the warmth of arrival at ‘The Fair Havens’, and the terror of shipwreck. St Paul’s Voyage to Melita is recorded by The Bach Choir and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Hill on Naxos 8573770.