was written for Truro Cathedral Choir in 2005. The Kyrie of Jackson’s ‘Truro Mass’ opens with a two-part canon at the fifth for altos and sopranos; imitative counterpoint also shapes the following Christe, scored for alto, tenor and bass, and the second Kyrie statement for full choir. The work may be a Missa brevis
, here truncated by omission of the Credo, but its composer, guided by the scale and style of William Byrd’s Mass settings, is alive to the dramatic potential and contrasts of his set Latin text: the Gloria, for example, begins with a mighty heavenward punch before concerning itself with peace on earth and striking appropriate moods for each of the ancient Christian hymn’s expressions of devotion. The timeless idea of multum in parvo, the existence of much in little, finds its musical justification as Jackson reflects on the Gloria’s ‘Qui tollis peccata mundi’ and announces the Sanctus with three bell-like chords, the latter cast in homage to the Sanctus of Christopher Tye’s Missa Euge bone
of the 1550s. Brevity likewise works in favour of ‘Dominus Deus Sabaoth’, set syllabically for choral sopranos and tenors against impassioned reiterations of ‘Sanctus’ for divided altos and basses. The Agnus Dei recalls the Kyrie canon, modified to avoid a repeat of the first movement’s modulation and supply fecund material for the second Agnus statement and the tender modal lifeblood of the final ‘dona nobis pacem’.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2013