Howells, Dyson

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COMPOSERS: Dyson,Howells
LABELS: Hyperion Helios
WORKS: In Gloucestershire (String Quartet No. 3)
PERFORMER: Divertimenti
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55045 Reissue (1984)
There is some fine music here, by two minor masters of the English 20th-century revival. Herbert Howells’s In Gloucestershire, begun in 1916 but apparently not completed until the Thirties, goes far deeper than the nature-painting which its title implies, especially when the dance-like finale slows to an unexpected coda, quiet and withdrawn. George Dyson’s Three Rhapsodies, although written separately between 1905 and 1920, hang together as a substantial half-hour quartet, centred on an elegiac slow movement of more than conventional expressivity. Both works are played by Divertimenti with great feeling and beauty of tone, in an ideally sympathetic recording. Anthony Burton