Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jacob, Gordon. (1895-1984. Symphony No 1 & 2. Top recommendation

From my collection.
Bought in 2010.
First listen: 7-4-2010.
Second listen: 30-3-2017.
Label: Lyrita. (Warning: This is a CD-R, so a burned copy)
Recording dates: Not mentioned.
Recording venue: Not mentioned.
Recording engineer: Not mentioned.
Running time: 66:25.
Reference performance.
State of the Art recording.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1. (1929) Première recording. 
Symphony No. 2 (1945).

Works performed by:
London PO, Barry Wordsworth.

[What you must know about this label is that all re-releases of this company are CD-R, so not pressed but burned. They come with a guarantee of 35 years. Any CD-R in this time getting unplayable will be replace free of charge. ]

Gordon Jacob is not a composer well known. He is one of many of his generation that got lost in the multitude of events that took place between 1900 and 1950. The event that had a profound impact on his life and music was of course WW 1, and also WW 2.  In the first WW he lost his 22 year old brother Anstey, and so you will hear that both works are drenched in memories thereof.
He survive in captivity (1917).
We have two unique masterworks unfolding beautifully under the hands of Barry Wordsworth. Both works are tonal, and masterly orchestrated. I have listened with much pleasure to this technical accomplishment, for it is full with all the memories of one man, translating for many that did not survive the horror. Every movement counts, every note is full with emotion, and all is gorgeously translated in gripping melodies, and heart wrenching harmonies. I have also a recording of the second symphony done by Douglas Bostock, which is also highly recommendable.
State of the Art sound.
The booklet omits all info about recording dates, venue and engineer. Considering that the CD-R goes for full price, it's a omission not appreciated.





Riisager, Knudåge. (1897-1974) The Symphonic Edition, Volume I.

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