Paul Spicer
Herbert HowellsPaul Spicer Howells and dyson

Herbert Howells | George Dyson

Paul Spicer is a former composition pupil of Herbert Howells and has devoted a great deal of time and energy to researching and performing Howells’s music. This has resulted in many published articles, a BBC Composer of the Week series on Radio 3, editing works for publication, writing liner notes for CDs and introductory prefaces for orchestral and choral scores recently published by Novello. In addition he has written a highly acclaimed biography of Howells which was published by Seren Books in 1998 and has been reprinted twice. It is still available.

open quoteThis biography is excellently written and certainly extremely well-researched.close quote

Daniel Reed, Cathedral Music.

Paul Spicer gave the Howells centenary lecture at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester in 1992 and has given many illustrated lectures and masterclasses in succeeding years. With the Finzi Singers he has recorded much of Howells's rarer choral repertoire – much of it for the first time.

Works which Paul is currently editing – or has already produced editions of - for Novello and Prefatory notes include: Hymnus Paradisi, Penguinski, Piano Concertos 1 and 2, Aubade, Even Such is Time, Violin Sonata 2, Sine Nomine.

The Music of Herbert Howells
Paul has contributed a chapter to a fascinating new book about Herbert Howells: 'The Music of Hebert Howells' edited by Phillip A. Cooke and David Maw published by Boydell & Brewer. Paul's chapter is 'Howells' use of the Melisma: Word Setting in His Songs and Choral Music.



George Dyson | Herbert Howells

The Music of Herbert Howells
Paul has recently completed a large-scale (approx: 300,000 words) biography and study of works of Sir George Dyson which was published by Boydell and Brewer in the summer of 2014. This site will advise of progress towards publication.

Sir George Dyson (1883-1964) was a remarkable composer, educator, administrator and, through his long work with the Carnegie UK Trust, philanthropist. It is hoped that this book will open the eyes and ears of the music loving public to the life and music of a composer who wrote outstandingly lovely music in many genres. Little of his music has remained in the repertoire except his two sets of evening canticles in D and F for the Anglican liturgy of Evensong. Only perhaps the Canterbury Pilgrims has stayed on the radar of some choral societies and achieved some recent performances. But much remains to be rediscovered even though almost all his output is now available on disc.

If you are looking for a place to start, why not try the beautiful Violin Concerto and the mouth watering Children’s Suite after Walter de la Mare? If you are looking for something choral try In Honour of the City or The Canterbury Pilgrims including the fabulous Overture: The Tabard Inn. Other large-scale choral works include Nebuchadnezzar and Quo Vadis? and other varied and beautiful works like Sweet Thames run softly and The Blacksmiths.

Dyson had a fascinating life which took him from the slums of Victorian Halifax to being Director of the Royal College of Music and being one of the most influential musicians of his day.

Watch this space for new news.

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First published: 1998.
Second printing: 1999.
Third printing: 2006
Series Editor: John Powell Ward
ISBN: 1-85411-233-3
Howells Book
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