Tag Archives: Timothy Shantz

Sun-Dogs: James MacMillan’s Setting of a Michael Symmons Roberts Poem

The Sun-Dog Painting (Vädersolstavlan)

The Sun-Dog Painting (Vädersolstavlan)

Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
—Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3, Act 2, Scene 1

I’m not terribly versed in choral music, to say the least, but little by little I’ve been adding pieces to my personal “canon.” Until David Nice noted that James “MacMillan took a leaf out of [Benjamin Britten’s] ‘The Driving Boy’ with the wonderful whistling tune in a choral masterpiece, Sun-Dogs,” I’d not been aware of the piece or the poem MacMillan set. I’ve since listened to Sun-Dogs again and again. Continue reading