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Choral Music of Gabriel Jackson: A Ship with Unfurled Sails / State Choir Latvija

Album Summary

>Jackson, Gabriel : The Voice of the Bard, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : Now I have known, O Lord [Al-Junaid], for chorus & organ
>Jackson, Gabriel : O Doctor optime, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : Missa Triueriensis, for chorus & organ
>Jackson, Gabriel : Thomas, Jewel of Canterbury, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : Sanctum est verum lumen, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : Angeli, archangeli, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : A ship with unfurled sails, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : Aeterna caeli gloria, for chorus
>Jackson, Gabriel : Ave regina caelorum, for chorus
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Latvian choral tradition is admired worldwide. Not only are the country's many choirs known for their striking vocal prowess, Latvian composers for this genre have created a significant repertoire of overwhelmingly spiritual music - perhaps a reaction to the suppression of that material by the Soviets. On this recording, the Latvian State Choir led by Maris Sirmais perform music by the British composer Gabriel Jackson, who has immersed himself in the contemporary Baltic sound-world. Jackson's sumptuous choral textures and beautiful, yet individual, harmonic language respond thrillingly to the "Latvian treatment."

American Record Guide, May/June 2013
What a choir! I am hardly surprised to discover such an accomplished ensemble in a country with the kinds of choral traditions found in all of the Baltic nations. Name any choral virtue you can think of, and they've got it. Jackson's music demands a virtuoso choir, and this one certainly fills the bill in every respect. Hyperion honors them - and Jackson - with plush sound and a complete booklet. If you are serious about monitoring the very finest choral creations written today and championed by top choirs, Gabriel Jackson is a name you simply can't ignore.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-).



Reviews

Britain on the Baltic
This collection is truly a treasure. I am so pleased to find that yet another fine composer has joined the sound world of the 21st century. This music is beautiful, expressive, meaningful, harmonically complex, interesting and accessible in every way. I hear no stilted and senseless dissonance, and no pointless digression into the shouting and ugliness demanded by the 20th century, modernist style Czars. There are still a few choppy, barking-like sections, which sound a bit like Gilbert and Sullivan renditions of church music, but they are scarce. Mostly, this is lovely, ethereal music with delightful, original tunes and lush harmonics - not in a Straussian sort of way - but in a 21st century, almost Baltic-sounding style. I won't get technical, because that is a bit out of my element, but to me, this Jackson's faire competes with best of 21st century a cappella choral music - Esenwalds, Gjeilo, Silvestrov, Vasks, Mealor, Whitacre, Lauridsen, Clausen, Miskinis, and Praulins - and even one-ups them on occasion. This music has a definite Baltic flavor, but with clear British overtones. It is possible that there has been some Baltic flavoring by the excellent State Choir of Latvia with Maris Sirmais at the podium, but I think it's mainly the music itself.

My favorite tracks are #4, a brief mass which, to me, hints very much at a "Baltic Vaughn-Williams". Track 9 is lovely, very expressive and atmospheric. Track 11, the title piece, is a true joy, with beautifully intriguing choral effects and a clear Baltic flavor - this is a great piece of music. Track 13 uses an electric guitar for accompaniment. I'm not sure that works, especially the virtuoso "cadenza" sections (sorry - so shows my familiarity with rock/pop musical terminology). It's okay, but not nearly as effective as Ola Gjeilo's use of Sax in a couple of his pieces.

In summary, if you love 21st century a cappella choral music as much as I do, you should be thrilled with this release. To me, it is as pleasurable as the best of them.

Submitted on 07/20/13 by Nicolo 
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Works Details

>Jackson, Gabriel : The Voice of the Bard, for chorus
  • Performers: Inese Romancane; Eduards Fiskovics; Didzis Lielauss
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Ensemble: Latvija State Choir
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Jackson, Gabriel : Now I have known, O Lord [Al-Junaid], for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Valdis Tomsons; Inga Lisovska (Voice); Agris Puke
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2004

>Jackson, Gabriel : O Doctor optime, for chorus
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Jackson, Gabriel : Missa Triueriensis, for chorus & organ
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Jackson, Gabriel : Thomas, Jewel of Canterbury, for chorus
  • Performers: Inese Romancane; Ugis Mengelis; Didzis Lielauss
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2004

>Jackson, Gabriel : Sanctum est verum lumen, for chorus
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Jackson, Gabriel : Angeli, archangeli, for chorus
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007

>Jackson, Gabriel : A ship with unfurled sails, for chorus
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2009

>Jackson, Gabriel : Aeterna caeli gloria, for chorus
  • Performers: Zane Zilberte; Laila Lineja
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007

>Jackson, Gabriel : Ave regina caelorum, for chorus
  • Performers: Inese Romancane; Kaspars Zemitis
  • Conductor: Máris Sirmais
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Riga, Latvia (2010-03-11_2010-03-12&2010-)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008