• Peter Dickinson
  • The Unicorns (1982)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Solna Brass with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain

  • brass band
  • See 'Wind & Brass' Section - brass band, arr. 1984/songs with piano - Three Songs from the Unicorns'
  • 18 min
  • Peter Dickinson
  • John Heath Stubbs
  • English

Programme Note

Perhaps the most haunting of his vocal works is the 1982 cycle The Unicorns written on commission to the Swedish mezzo Elisabeth Söderström and Solna Brass, and to a text by John Heath Stubbs. The unusual sonority of the instrumental part brought out the best of Dickinson the melodist: Lullaby is a minor modern classic, and the cycle is well represented in good quality recordings. A major non-orchestral work…is the impressive Mass of the Apocalypse, an outwardly un-English score which makes interesting use of piano and percussion in place of the more usual organ. Like Outcry, it is a work of considerable contemporary resonance and reinforces the utter absence of dilettantism in Dickinson’s work. He is an impressive figure who merits greater international recognition.

Brian Morton in Contemporary Composers, St James Press (1992)