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Track(s) taken from CDA67976

Missa Triueriensis

February to May 2005; Brockley; SATB divisi; composed for Truro Cathedral Choir and first performed on 3 July 2005; dedicated to the composer's father on his 75th birthday
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

The State Choir Latvija, Māris Sirmais (conductor)
Recording details: March 2010
St John's Church, Riga, Latvia
Produced by Normunds Slava
Engineered by Aivars Stengelis & Normunds Slava
Release date: January 2013
Total duration: 11 minutes 40 seconds

Cover artwork: Moonlight Departure (1998) by Richard Crichton (b1935)
Private Collection / Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Australia / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Unquestionably the State Choir Latvia is a magnificent body of singers. They encompass a vast dynamic range and deliver words and music with impeccable precision and clarity … they thrill with their rhythmically compelling opening unisons, entice with their delicate chording … and soothe with their lilting harmonic underlay' (Gramophone)

'In The Voice of the Bard, which opens this Gabriel Jackson collection, the State Choir Latvija manages both a bristling ardour in its delivery of the text and a virtuoso response to the vocal demands of the setting … Jackson's long, soothingly lyrical arcs of melody are sensually shaped and executed with impressive corporate unanimity … an incandescent performance of the 40-part motet Sanctum est verum lumen sets the seal on this magnificent demonstration of the art of choral singing' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This disc is, quite simply, full of marvels … any listener will surely react with awe to the sheer splendour and choral daring, both from the composer and from the fabulous choir' (International Record Review)

'All the music is full of interest and is written with what we’ve come to expect from this composer; namely a highly imaginative ear for choral texture, great empathy for the human voice and tremendous responsiveness to texts. It’s hard—nay, impossible—to imagine these pieces receiving finer advocacy than they receive from the superb Latvian choir, who give one of the most memorable exhibitions of unaccompanied choral singing that I’ve heard for some time. If you factor in also that the recorded sound is splendid and the documentation up to Hyperion’s usual excellent standards then this disc can only be regarded as a pretty compelling proposition' (MusicWeb International)
Missa Triueriensis 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

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