Gabriel Jackson: Sacred Choral Works

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 premiere 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.

"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."

"The children’s voices of the Scottish choir bring out the music’s innocence, as does the soft and attractively distant sound.

"You can hear why Jackson likes to write for them, can’t you? The fresh openness of the sounds and that fearlessness, which he describes in his notes. As well as that Mass setting which he says owes quite a bit to Poulenc, Stravinsky and Arvo Pärt, there are another 12 works going back to “O Sacrum Convivium” in 1990. There’s a great sense of place in the recording as well"

"Jackson’s personable style is effective, and the performances by the St Mary’s choir under Matthew Owens have an immediacy that brings the Edinburgh Mass and sundry anthems and canticle settings to life."

"Much of the music here was written to be sung in worship and Jackson, who knows both the choir and building, plays to their strengths...If you have any interest in how choral music might sound as the 21st century progresses you will want to note Gabriel Jackson’s name and if you enjoy outstanding singing then this choir is one to listen out for."


"This disc will knock you out. I have not come across Jackson before but the compositions on this disc bowled me over...The singing is first-rate and Matthew Owens' choir delivers superlative performances and finely-tuned singing from all voices. This CD is quite simply tremendous as it marries unknown repertoire with some of the finest singing I have heard for a long time."


"the end result is music of a coherently and strikingly individual personality...It’s also quite clear that the singers of the St Mary’s Choir enjoyed singing it; there’s an exuberance that runs all the way through the disc, of the kind that cannot be forced."

"If you’re at all interested in contemporary choral music, you shouldn’t miss this – and once heard, it certainly will whet your interest in future projects by this unique and genuinely talented composer."


Release Date: 1 July 2005
Catalogue No: DCD34027
Total playing time: 1:10:22
Recorded on 23-24 Feburary & 1-2 March 2004; 21 December 2004; 4 January 2005 at St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineers: David Strudwick & Andrew Malkin
Assistant Engineers: Edward Bremner & Benjamin Mills
24-bit digital editing: Adam Binks
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: John Christ
Cover image: Peter Newman, Vapour Trails(oil on canvas)
Session photography: Gary Baker

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