Dove descending: new 'Gaia' at the Proms disappoints

I like the music of Jonathan Dove. I do. He writes cleverly and accessibly for community choirs (think of Passing of the Year); his sacred choral anthems are dramatic, mesmerising, colourful (Seek Him That Maketh The Seven Stars being a particularly fine example of all these); but I found Gaia Theory, premiered at this year's BBC Proms, a little disappointing. It seemed to lack focus, or direction, and wore its indebtedness to the music of John Adams a little too obviously on its sleeve. I liked the piece, don't get me wrong; but on this occasion, I wasn't as engaged or as seduced as I have been by previous works.

Watch the piece on iPlayer for the next few weeks here, or listen to it (and read the usual insightful review from Simon Cummimgs) over on the marvellous 5:4 blog here.