Sir George Dyson KCVO (28 May 1883 – 28 September 1964) was a well-known English musician and composer. He was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and attended the Royal College of Music. In 1914 he joined the Royal Fusiliers, and during this time wrote a widely used training pamphlet on the use of grenades. After being invalided home with shell-shock in 1916 and recovering, he joined the Royal Air Force where he completed the RAF March Past drafted by Walford Davies. In 1921 he took up posts as music master at Wellington College and as professor of composition at the Royal College of Music. He worked as a school music teacher (at Rugby, Wellington and Winchester), before being appointed as Director of the Royal College of Music in 1937. He received a knighthood in 1941 and was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1953, and died in Winchester at age 81.
He wrote some significant works for the
liturgy of the Church of England, including two complete morning and evening canticles in D major and F major, as well as a setting of the evening service in C minor for trebles. The evening services remain popular in English churches and cathedrals, and are certainly part of the core repertoire.
This is the third and last book of "Preludes on Old-Psalm-Tunes". The opening prelude in book 3 is based on the tune, "Hark, the glad sound", the melody of which comes from "Ravencroft's Psalter" (1621). This tune is generally associated with Advent, but there is nothing "adventy" about this.
It begins and ends with alternating phrases between the Swell and (Great) uncoupled. The middle section has a few brief solo passages, played upon the Cor Anglais of the Solo. The modulations that occur, are quite quick, and very typical of Dyson's style. A grandiose coda brings the work to a close, and it is only just before the end that the Swell is finally coupled to the Great.
The score is attached below.