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That central statement of “Ruchill Linn”—the invocation of the place by name serving as a sign under which the poet’s contemplation takes place—is set off from the prevailing (and for Jackson unusual) contrapuntal textures, in a sequence of chords filling out the whole registral space and framed by silence before and after, not unlike the way Tudor composers often set the words “Jesu Christe” in the Gloria section of their masses. Jackson says it wasn’t a conscious allusion in this case, but it’s nonetheless characteristic of his approach and aesthetic: while he rarely quotes directly from specific pieces by other composers, he thinks of all his work as, in the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s Stravinskian phrase, “music about music”. Even if it is subconscious here, it might also be heard as confirming a spiritual dimension to the work, one that fits and enhances its magical sense of place.
from notes by John Fallas © 2014
|Jackson (G): Airplane Cantata & other choral works|
Joined by the world-renowned pianola player Rex Lawson, the BBC Singers perform the premiere recordings of works by British composer Gabriel Jackson. The central work of the programme—Airplane Cantata—explores the early days of aviation through th ...» More