Thursday, May 31, 2018


Expressive violin concertos by three unfamiliar names have recently made a well-deserved break into the recording world. The most dramatic of these three scintillating works is that from the seasoned Great War composer Gordon Jacob. His concerto, composed 30 years after that conflict's conclusion, is still an abject reflection of that period and its haunting memories.
The three movements move from a contemplative opening through a prayer-like andante and finally to a reflective but optimistic allegro finale.

Gordon Jacob (1897 - 1996) was taken prisoner during the First World War. While in the camp, with several other musicians, he formed an orchestra and composed and arranged for the oddly balanced forces available. This gave him a valuable insight into how to write for each instrument so that the notes 'lie well' for the fingers, and to understand unusual instrumental combinations. Later in life this expertise made him much sought-after by several more famous names, for help with their orchestration. His book 'Orchestral Technique' is still a much valued reference book.

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