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Polyphony’s recordings of contemporary choral music are among Hyperion’s perennial best-sellers and have introduced thousands of listeners to magical new worlds of sound. On this new disc for Hyperion, under their inspirational director, Stephen Layton, the composer Gabriel Jackson gets the Polyphony treatment. The result is a dazzling collection which will inspire and enchant the listener.
Gabriel Jackson’s uniquely appealing choral works have made him one of the most familiar names in the repertoire today. His liturgical pieces are in the repertoires of many of Britain’s leading cathedral and collegiate choirs and in 2003 he won the liturgical category at the inaugural British Composer Awards. His music is deeply attractive: meditative, contemplative, and unashamedly spiritual.
“Not no faceless Angel', which takes a poem on bereavement as its basis. …is triumphantly holistic in its impact, with some soaring, ecstatic soprano writing particularly catching the ear, and a wistful, touchingly deployed harmonic scheme etching out the poem's poignant emotions. ...Salve regina 2, is quite different in style and character, with trill-like and nimbly arpeggiated effects built into the divided soprano writing, a more conservative use of harmony, and a predominantly bright, cheerful disposition. In this particular repertoire, it's difficult to imagine performances of greater distinction.”
Awards Issue 2009
“There are many striking features of this ravishing disc, beautifully and imaginatively performed by Stephen Layton and Polyphony. There are hints here and there of Monteverdi, Stravinsky, Poulenc perhaps, yet I sense Jackson's profound affinity with English choral music from the time of the Eton Choirbook to the present.”
22nd June 2009
“full-blooded in sonority, ... emphatic and beefy bass sound”
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