Handel called Britain the ringing isle because when he moved to London, he heard bells ringing everywhere: great bells in church towers, and hand bells in some of the first private houses he visited. The sound of people ringing the changes is a peculiarly British sound of celebration, and it seems a good starting point for a piece celebrating British musical life. Within The Ringing Isle, Dove incorporates some traditional change-ringing patterns, from 'Grandsire Doubles', 'Oxford Treble Bob Minor' and his own version of 'Plain Bob Major'. Handel's phrase also conjures up an image of a magical island, and so this is how Dove envisaged how it must have been to approach Britain from an ocean voyage.
The Ringing Isle
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