Born in 1920, Geoffrey Bush was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, and later educated at Lancing College and Balliol College, Oxford. He jointed the staff of the Extra-mural Department of Oxford University in 1947, moving to London University in 1952.
An ardent champion of English music, he wrote widely on the subject, also contributing regularly to BBC Radio 3 programmes. His catalogue of works is far-ranging in scope and content, including 2 symphonies, many smaller scale orchestral pieces, and music for chamber ensemble. Bush's music is as varied as his tastes and interests. conducted by Rudolf Schwarz.
Among the most popular titles from Geoffrey Bush's catalogue are the Concerto for Light Orchestra (1958), and his two choral works A Christmas Cantata (1947), and In Praise of Mary (1955). With a natural affinity for a wide range of texts (from Chaucer to Stevie Smith via Jonson, Wilde and Virginia Woolf) - his music always serves to embellish and illuminate the given word.
Geoffrey Bush died in February 1998.
"Carillon" is not what you expect when compared to the famous French carillon-pieces. It does have some "bell-like" phrases, and is somewhat "related" to "chant-like" works, as well as showing some affinity (briefly) with the style of Herbert Howells.
The piece is found in "A Christmas Album" published by OUP in 1956, and is based on the ancient German tune, "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen," but you'll have to listen closely, as the melody is more "implied" rather than stated.
The piece begins quietly, but soon begins to build. Some very dramatic modulatory passages with big chords lead to a culmination of the "thematic material", and the Solo Tuba gets a brief toot before the end.
The work has a strong connection to Salisbury Cathedral, as it is dedicated to Christopher Dearnley (1930-2000), who was organist of the cathedral at the time the piece was written.
Photos of Bush, Dearnley, and Salisbury Cathedral are attached below.