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Jackson - Not no faceless Angel and other choral works
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.” BBC Music Magazine, August 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.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2009
“full-blooded in sonority, ... emphatic and beefy bass sound” The Telegraph, 22nd June 2009 ****
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Gabriel Jackson: Sacred Choral Works I
World premiere recordings
Recorded in the presence of the composer.
The culmination of a four-year association between the choir of St Mary's Cathedral and British composer award-winner Gabriel Jackson, this disc presents nine world première recordings. Whether gentle and meditative, brilliantly exuberant, or soaring in ecstatic contemplation, Jackson's vividly communicative music is brought thrillingly to life by a choir at the peak of its powers.
The re-release of this recording coincides with the news that Jackson is to become the next Associate Composer to the BBC Singers.
“The children’s voices of the Scottish choir bring out the music’s innocence, as does the soft and attractively distant sound.” The Telegraph, 22nd June 2009 ***
“This disc will knock you out” Cathedral Music, November 2005
“Beautifully crafted music that allows this excellent choir full rein …Superlative performances, full of spirit but always secure and Sensitive, [and] the sound can only be described as luxurious” Gramophone Magazine, December 2005
“Owens fully understands the character of an Anglican cathedral choir while, for their part, the Edinburgh choristers respond with superlative performances, full of spirit and vigour, compelling in their enthusiasm but always secure and sensitive.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2005
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Twentieth Century Masters Volume 2 - MacMillan and His British Contemporaries
Edward Higginbottom and his Choir of New College Oxford present the second of three CDs exploring 20th-century choral music, this one concentrating on many of the contemporary British compositions that have figured in their popular New College chapel programmes and delighted many diverse audiences of students, Fellows and visitors alike. The track list reads like a veritable who’s who of contemporary British composers, with two sacred works by James MacMillan leading the way. Julian Anderson, Jonathan Dove, Tarik O’Regan, Robin Holloway and Judith Weir are among the others who contribute to a glorious disc that displays the Choir’s distinguishing versatility.
Also available are Poulenc and his French Contemporaries (AV 2084), and Copland and his American Contemporaries (AV 2086).
“There are few boy choristers who can phrase as expressively as Edward Higginbottom’s firm rich-toned altos ... a dignified, darkly eloquent performance.” BBC Music Magazine
“…a rich, well chosen selection of works that confirm just how vigorous and robust the British tradition remains, and what safe hands that tradition is in when composers of this calibre are willing to continue it with such understanding and respect for the strengths and needs of the church choir.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2006
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