Dyson's sumptuous choral epic of 1938, subtitled ‘A Cycle of Poems’, charts man's journey through life and the afterlife, using a collage of English poems. Quo Vadis is a work that, in its aim, design and achievement, reaches for visionary heights. Right from the start, Dyson's harmonic language and skilful orchestration are completely at the service of his beautiful and carefully crafted libretto. The composer fervently believed in the English choral movement's need for practical, tuneful and lively music. Quo Vadis, with its colourful orchestration and fine melodies, demonstrates the effectiveness of this aesthetic approach. Arranged for SATB Chorus and Orchestra, this major, yet often overlooked piece lasts about 90 minutes in 9 movements.
Sir George Dyson was a well-known English musician and composer of the 20th century. His compositions include a symphony in G major, a violin concerto, and a number of other works, many of them for choir. Apart from his musical career,Dyson was involved with the military during WWI – his handbook on grenade-fighting techniques became the standard Army text for many years.