Gabriel Jackson’s Vox Clara enters chart at No.20 and receives rave reviews
23 August 2016
Gabriel Jackson’s latest disc featuring Truro Cathedral Choir, Saxophonist (and Bright Ivy founder, Joel Garthwaite), and Organist, Luke Bond entered the UK Specialist Classical Chart at No. 20 on the 29th of July 2016. Released on Regent Records, the disc features no fewer than eight premiere recordings.
Seven of the eight new recordings were specifically written for Christopher Gray and the Truro Cathedral Choir, including That wind blowing and that tide for treble voices, saxophone, and organ, the result of a day’s workshop with Gabriel Jackson and the Cathedral choristers, and incorporating their musical ideas.
The Advent Antiphon setting O Clavis David was commissioned by Merton College, Oxford, in 2012. Christopher Gray subsequently asked Jackson to compose settings of the remaining six ‘Great O’ antiphons of Advent for the Truro Cathedral Choir. The complete cycle of seven unaccompanied Antiphons were first performed at The Advent Service in Truro Cathedral in December 2014.
Other new works on the disc include a beautiful work for saxophone and organ, dedicated to saxophonist, Joel Garthwaite and his wife Vicki on the occasion of their marriage, and a Chorale Prelude for solo organ, composed for William Whitehead’s Orgelbüchlein Project.
The disc also includes several earlier works written for Truro Cathedral Choir: the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis of 2001, the Missa Triueriensus (‘Truro Mass’) of 2005, and Cantate Domino written for the Truro 125 celebrations in 2013.
‘...The Wind Blowing and That Tide, a deeply touching setting of Rudyard Kipling’s poem My Boy Jack, was the result of this unique collaboration, recorded here for the first time, along with other work for Truro’s exceptionally fine choir, including a stunning set of Advent Antiphons and a wonderfully lithe and sinuous Cantate Domino. Joel Garthwaite (saxophone) and Luke Bond (organ) sprinkle stardust over everything they play.’
**** The Observer August 13th 2016
‘Jackson's work, with its allusions to Orthodox music, to the euphony (but not the prolixity) of Tavener and to Tudor manners, has an irresistible allure. Not a note is superfluous, the formal shaping is always elegant, and it's always written with the performers first in mind. In this selection of sacred pieces, Truro's fine singers engage touchingly with this creative generosity.’
Sunday Times 10 July 2016
“Gabriel Jackson’s signature throughout this disc of sacred music is note embellishment. It’s a distinct collection, most of it written for the finely trained Truro Cathedral Choir who accomplish everything asked of them with consummate ease – and it can be quite an ask at times. The composer uses a saxophone for three of his works, not as an extra contrapuntal voice but as an individual identity and a significant part of the score. Joel Garthwaite plays soprano, alto and tenor sax with enviable fluidity and perception. Included in this programme are seven contrasted settings of Antiphons for Advent, the Truro Mag & Nunc whose highly decorated unison lines contrast well with no-nonsense harmony, and here is a spectacular Cantate Domino. One of the most interesting works is a setting of Kipling’s That wind blowing and that tide in commemoration od the Great War; written for the Cathedral’s boys who had a hand in its creation, the reflective music is given a poignant interpretation. Luke Bond’s discerning organ playing adds the final touch to this refreshingly different disc.”
***** Choir & Organ September 2016
'The disc is full of imaginatively crafted music which gives further evidence of why Gabriel Jackson is so highly regarded as a choral composer. The music is challenging to sing, I’m sure, but as is his wont no outrageous, unmusical demands are made on the singers. Furthermore in each piece the music seems to constitute an unerring response to the chosen text. The singing of the Truro Cathedral choir is uniformly excellent. I’ve heard several of their previous discs and never been disappointed but this latest one is as fine as any I’ve heard from them. The recorded sound is very good indeed and the documentation, which includes valuable notes by the composer, is comprehensive.'
John Quinn, MusicWEb July 2016