In 1949 Dyson was nearing the end of his time as Director at the Royal College of Music and this period was a fertile one for him, composition-wise. He had already written two unusual and attractive string orchestra concertos (Concerto da Chiesa and Concerto da Camera) in 1948 and now set out on a concerto for piano with string orchestra. This was begun in 1949 when he wrote to his son that he was “well on the way with a piano concerto”. The work has a remarkable sense of intimacy and an almost classical feel in its sense of economy. The Concerto Leggiero is in three movements with the second as a reflective, elegiac set of variations on the theme given at the start. The third movement is a lively Vivace typical of the mature Dyson, well-structured, economical and involving for the listener all the way to its final flourish.
Programme note by Paul Spicer