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Cecil Armstrong GibbsODYSSEUS& George DysonFOUR SONGS FOR SAILORS  
Cecil Armstrong Gibbs
ODYSSEUS
& George Dyson
FOUR SONGS FOR SAILORS

CECIL ARMSTRONG GIBBS
Odysseus: Symphony in four movements (1937-8) for soprano and baritone soli, mixed chorus and orchestra
(words by Mordaunt Currie)

Susan Gritton (soprano)
Mark Stone (baritone)

SIR GEORGE DYSON
Four Songs for Sailors (1948) for chorus, strings, brass and timpani

BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA
LONDON ORIANA CHOIR
David Drummond (conductor)

Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, 24-25 November 2007

Armstrong Gibbs was once a favourite composer of local choral societies, but his masterpiece, the choral symphony Odysseus, has seldom been heard because it immediately preceded the Second World War and afterwards never really established itself. Yet it is a cherishable score, and if you like Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony you will love this tuneful and evocative work. Here Susan Gritton and Mark Stone revel in their roles as soprano and baritone soloists respectively. Telling the familiar story of Odysseus’s legendary wanderings around the eastern Mediterranean after the fall of Troy , and his return to Ithaca , Odysseus – which in fact is Gibbs’s second symphony – has long been requested by enthusiasts. It is vividly realised by the London Oriana Choir and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by David Drummond. The choir also make Four Songs for Sailors, Dyson’s tuneful songs for chorus, strings, brass and timpani, sound effortless, and with the work’s theme of ships and sailors is the perfect complement to Armstrong Gibbs’s epic vision.

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