Jonathan Dove (b 1959) is a respected and established composer in his native England, known for numerous operas and choral works, all cast in an accessible tonal language. Sappho Sings (2019) for choir and orchestra sets the ancient Greek poet’s sensuous, lyric fragments to music moving between moments of tender beauty and fiery passion. It often bears resemblance to the post-minimalist writing of Adams, especially Harmonium. Though it doesn’t quite reach such heights or depths, it is an appealing, colorful piece worth hearing.
I is especially magical, with ethereal, rising lines in the winds over dream-like imagery. Dove’s music deserves more performances this side of the Atlantic; solid recordings with such adept performances from the likes of Fairhaven Singers and London Mozart Players can only help. A note, though – this disc doesn’t even run a full 20 minutes. Though the physical release seems to be fairly priced, I would consider the digital copy if you, like me, are storage-conscious. Notes and text included.