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Gabriel Jackson: Beyond The Stars
Sacred Choral Works II
Celebrating his 50th birthday in 2012, Gabriel Jackson has had a long and close association with the choir of St Mary’s Cathedral. Under Duncan Ferguson’s dynamic direction, they bring a special authority, and all their characteristic verve and intensity, to a sequence of recording premieres that centres on the florid 'Hymn to St Margaret of Scotland', newly written for the choir.
Sumptuously recorded, this is a dazzling window into the luminous world of Gabriel Jackson.
“You will have to go a long way to hear choral singing finer than this. Take such matters as tuning, blend and diction as read: they are superb. Instead, let us cut to the astonishingly communicative nature of the singing. This is unforgettable...Trebles lines don't just soar...they take wing with a kind of elated abandon...indeed, it seems clear to me that all the performers are inspired by, almost possessed by, this inspired music.” International Record Review, July/August 2012
“the choir rises to and surmounts every challenge. More than that, their performances have tremendous conviction and assurance. Duncan Ferguson has clearly trained his choir superbly. The organ playing of Nicholas Wearne is excellent throughout.” MusicWeb International, July 2012
“a collection of 16 of [Jackson's] endlessly inventive and stimulating choral pieces, some the fruit of his happy association with the excellent choir of St Mary's, Edinburgh. The mix of boys and girls on the treble line...lends a spacious elegance to the sound and a pleasing variety of solo sonorities...Highly recommended.” The Observer, 20th August 2012
“It's the sheer fervour of the singing in Gabriel Jackson's The Glory of the Lord which gets you as it leaps, skids and (at the conclusion) yelps its paean of praise into the vibrant acoustic...The piece is bursting with the desire to worship, and the performance by the Cathedral's choir is scintillating...Filled to overflowing with verve and commitment.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2012 *****
“Throughout it all runs an almost tiresomely festive mood, punctuated by jubilant choral shouts and sparkling organ passagework...since the arrival of Duncan Ferguson in 2007 [the choir] has turned into one of Scotland's (indeed one of Britain's) musical jewels...It's easy to get so wrapped up in the ravishing delights of Jackson's writing that you forget the astonishing quality of these performances...a disc of unrelenting impressiveness.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
Sure on this shining night, Op. 13 No. 3
Bennett, R R:
A Song at Evening
Somewhere (from West Side Story)
O Salutaris Hostia
I sing of a maiden
Ex ore innocentium (It is a Thing Most Wonderful)
The Land Of Spices
At The River
How Can I Keep From Singing
arr John SCOTT
Fairest Isle (from King Arthur)
Nymphs and Shepherds, Z600
Music, when soft voices die, Op. 25 No. 5 (Shelley)
Love's Philosophy, Op. 3 No. 1 (Shelley)
The Lord's Prayer
arr. Barry ROSE
Skye Boat Song
I Will Give My Love An Apple
Dirge for Fidele
This ‘songbook’ is unique to the Schola Cantorum choristers of Tewkesbury Abbey. “Essentially, it’s a showcase for the Abbey trebles,” their Director of Music Benjamin Nicholas explains. “We’ve been assembling our own 'Songbook' for quite a while now – the songs the trebles sing, from time to time, in boys-only concerts, and which they are taught in individual singing lessons. I’ve always been keen to build each boy up as a soloist, not necessarily with the express idea of them singing lots of solos, but so that they can learn to sing in a soloistic way.”
This is evident most of all in the distinctive singing of 11-year-old Laurence Kilsby, whose gifts won him the BBC Chorister of the Year competition in 2009. On this recording, he features as soloist in two Shelley settings by Roger Quilter, the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria and in John Ireland’s beautiful, sincerely-felt Passiontide motet Ex Ore Innocentium from 1944.
“Throughout, the trebles of the Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum give excellent performances of impressive consistency under the leadership of their director, Benjamin Nicholas. They have an uninhibited, fresh sound, coupled with the skill to sustain lengthy phrases with even tone...[Kilsby] displays tremendous maturity both in vocal timbre and in his musicianship...I can foresee a glittering future for him.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.