Jonathan Dove's Arion and the Dolphin

Our commission of a new choral work from one of the most popular composers of choral music, Jonathan Dove, funded by the Nicholas Berwin Charitable Trust, will be available for programming by Making Music members in the 2015-8 seasons.

Arion and the Dolphin, a dramatic cantata for countertenor or alto solo, children’s choir, adult mixed choir, two pianos and percussion (told in lively verse by Dove’s long-time collaborator Alasdair Middleton) is now available for members to programme.

Jonathan Dove writes: 

Arion is a young poet from Corinth who wins first prize in a singing contest in Sicily. During his voyage home, the sailors plot to kill him and keep his prize-money. Arion begs to sing one last song, and they allow him. His song draws dolphins to the ship. As soon as he finishes his song, he jumps overboard and is rescued by one of the dolphins who carries him to safety. The dolphin ends among the stars, as the constellation Delphinus.

The story is told as a sequence of songs, with a soloist as Arion, tenors and basses as the sailors, and children’s voices representing the dolphin. The colourful instrumentation is suggested by a popular arrangement of Carmina Burana, so that Arion and the Dolphin may be performed as a companion-piece.

To give you the opportunity to explore Jonathan’s music further, Edition Peters are making his ‘Ah Sunflower’ from The Passing of the Year available for free download exclusively for Making Music members right now.

For the access code to this, information on pricing and availability of Arion and the Dolphin, and Schott’s accompanying exclusive special offer for Carmina Burana, please view our Arion and the Dolphin resource page.