Vox Clara

Joel Garthwaite, Truro Cathedral Choir, Luke Bond

Release date: August 2016

Regent Records – REGCd479

One of Britain’s foremost and most celebrated composers, Gabriel Jackson, joins with the critically-acclaimed Choir of Truro Cathedral, under its inspiring director, Christopher Gray, and saxophonist, Joel Garthwaite, to present a collection recent works for choir, saxophone, and organ. Fourteen pieces are receiving first recordings, including the opening work ‘Vox clara ecce intonat’, commissioned by St John’s College, Cambridge, in 2013, and other works written for the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

Seven new works were specifically written for Christopher Gray and the Truro Cathedral Choir, including That wind blowing and that tide for treble voices, saxophone, and organ, the result of a day’s workshop with Gabriel Jackson and the Cathedral choristers, and incorporating their musical ideas.

The Advent Antiphon setting O Clavis David was commissioned by Merton College, Oxford, in 2012. Christopher Gray subsequently asked Gabriel Jackson to compose settings of the remaining six ‘Great O’ antiphons of Advent for the Truro Cathedral Choir. The complete cycle of seven unaccompanied Antiphons were first performed at The Advent Service in Truro Cathedral in December 2014.

Other new works include a beautiful composition for saxophone and organ, dedicated to saxophonist, Joel Garthwaite and his wife Vicky on the occasion of their marriage, and a Chorale Prelude for solo organ, composed for William Whitehead’s Orgelbüchlein Project. The disc also includes several earlier commisions for Truro Cathedral Choir: the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis of 2001, and the Missa Triueriensus (‘Truro Mass’) of 2005, and Cantate Domino written for the Truro 125 celebrations in 2013.


‘this glorious release is unbeatable.’ Gramophone Editor’s Choice, Nov ’16

‘..imaginatively scored and expressive choral music, here performed compellingly by the Truro choir’ BBC Music Magazine

‘Joel Garthwaite (saxophone) and Luke Bond (organ) sprinkle stardust over everything they play.’ The Observer

‘Jackson’s work, with its allusions to Orthodox music, to the euphony (but not the prolixity) of Tavener and to Tudor manners, has an irresistible allure. Not a note is superfluous, the formal shaping is always elegant, and it’s always written with the performers first in mind. In this selection of sacred pieces, Truro’s fine singers engage touchingly with this creative generosity.’ Sunday Times

‘…a distinct collection, most of it written for the finely trained Truro Cathedral Choir who accomplish everything asked of them with consummate ease.’ ***** Choir & Organ

‘Move over Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble!
The first thing one hears on this CD is a saxophone with unaccompanied choir: one of four pieces with sax. The blend is spellbinding. Gabriel Jackson’s writing is challenging yet lyrical and approachable; the Truro choir seems to relish his lush harmonies too. Five of seven works written especially for the choir are on this CD.’ Church Music Quarterly Dec ’16

‘The disc is full of imaginatively crafted music which gives further evidence of why Gabriel Jackson is so highly regarded as a choral composer. The recorded sound is very good indeed and the documentation, which includes valuable notes by the composer, is comprehensive.’ MusicWEb