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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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George Dyson, The Canterbury Pilgrims

George Dyson, The Canterbury Pilgrims

(p.420) (p.421) Chapter 102 George Dyson, The Canterbury Pilgrims
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Just as Johannes Brahms went to the Lutheran Bible to appeal to his fellow countrymen in one mood, so George Dyson in a very different mood goes to the great English classic Geoffrey Chaucer to help him to suggest that side of England which is shrewd and gay. In Dyson's music the brilliant, witty, and sympathetic word pictures of Chaucer receive their musical counterpart, and just as certain phrases stand out in the poet and have become household words, so in Dyson's music in The Canterbury Pilgrims, the Monk, the Nun, the Scholar, the Merchant, the Shipman, the wife of Bath, the poor Parson, and the Host stand in musical notation until at last the procession fades away into silence with the opening words of the Knight's tale. This end is a real inspiration and the theme which accompanies it is of great originality for the very reason that it appears strangely familiar.

Keywords:   George Dyson, English classic, Geoffrey Chaucer, England, Canterbury Pilgrims, musical notation, Knight's tale

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