Sir George Dyson KCVO (28 May 1883 – 28 September 1964) was a well-known English musician and composer. He was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and attended the Royal College of Music. In 1914 he joined the Royal Fusiliers, and during this time wrote a widely used training pamphlet on the use of grenades. After being invalided home with shell-shock in 1916 and recovering, he joined the Royal Air Force where he completed the RAF March Past drafted by Walford Davies. In 1921 he took up posts as music master at Wellington College and as professor of composition at the Royal College of Music. He worked as a school music teacher (at Rugby, Wellington and Winchester), before being appointed as Director of the Royal College of Music in 1937. He received a knighthood in 1941 and was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1953, and died in Winchester at age 81.
This is the third and last book of "Preludes on Old-Psalm-Tunes". The fourth and last prelude in book 3 is based on the tune, "I was glad", the melody taken from the "Scottish Psalter" of 1615. This is a really wonderfully creative and clever setting of the text.
If you know your Old Testament, or at least your Book of Psalms, you'll know that Psalm 122 is one of the "songs of ascent", as it talks about the pilgrims journeying UP to Jerusalem to worship in the great temple. We hear the "march" of their feet in the opening "toccatina", the melody appearing in the tenor. Once again, modulations, colors, and textures shift rapidly. All of a sudden, we hear the shofar (played upon the Solo Tuba), and we begin the ascent up the many steps to the temple entrance. Again the, shofar calls us, and we excitedly pick up the pace, finally, the shofar sounds one last time. Our journey is complete!
The score is attached below.