Gordon Jacob

Biography

Born: July 5, 1895; London, England   Died: June 8, 1984; Saffron Walden  
Gordon Jacob was an important twentieth century English composer whose eclectic conservatism and willingness to produce attractive trifles set him at odds with most of the progressives and elitists of his day. Over the 60 or so years of activity as a composer, he produced symphonies, concertos for various instruments, choral works, a ballet, chamber music, band music, patriotic scores during wartime, film scores, and various arrangements, Read more including one of the more popular orchestrations of Les Sylphides. He also wrote four important books, including Orchestral Technique: A Manual for Students (1931), which illuminates issues of orchestration and instrumentation; and The Elements of Orchestration (1962), which further elucidates matters of scoring. Jacob also authored numerous essays on music and taught music for more than 40 years. He received commissions to write music for state occasions, including the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, for which he produced a brassy arrangement of the English National Anthem. His more often encountered works include the two numbered symphonies and the comical overture The Barber of Seville Goes to the Devil.

Jacob was born in London on July 5, 1895, the youngest of 10 children. Educated at Dulwich College, he served in the army during World War I and was lucky to return home: he was one of only 60 survivors of the 800 soldiers in his battalion.

Jacob received his musical training at the Royal College of Music under Vaughan Williams, Stanford, and other notables. Jacob himself joined the faculty there in 1924 and held the post until 1966. He wrote music and arrangements for the Sadlers Wells Ballet Company in the 1930s, and in the next decade turned out patriotic pieces and film scores for the war effort.

Jacob's Music for a Festival was an immediate hit at the 1951 Festival of Britain. The 1959 Ken Russell-directed BBC TV documentary about the life of Jacob divulged both the composer's conservative artistry and his importance, then at its peak, in England. The year of the film's release Jacob remarried (his first wife died childless in 1958), and fathered two children to his second wife. After his 1966 retirement from the RCM Jacob remained active, though his reputation was in decline owing to the more fashionable works by serial and other progressive-minded composers. Jacob's 1984 Concerto for Timpani and Wind Band is among his more important late works. Read less

There are 78 Gordon Jacob recordings available.

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Works

Formats & Featured

Gordon Jacob


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. March
II. Elegy
III. Waltz
IV. Slow Air
V. Limerick
VI. Chinese Tune
VII. Galop
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro giocoso
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Allegro con spirito, quasi presto
I. Andante maestoso - Allegro molto - Andante maestoso
II. Adagio molto
III. Vivace alla marcia
No. 1. Caprice
No. 2. Cradle Song
No. 3. Country Dance
No. 4. Threnody
No. 5. Russian Dance
I. Allegro moderato
II. Scherzo: Allegro molto
III. Andante semplice
IV. Rondo: Allegro molto
I. Elegiac Prelude: Andante poco tento - Meno mosso (adagio)
II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace - Meno mosso - Tempo I
III. Cortege: Andante poco lento - Adagio
IV. Minuet - Trio: Allegretto
V. Rondo with Epilogue: Allegro vivace - Adagio
I. Prelude
II. English Dance
III. Lament
IV. Burlesca alla Rumba
V. Pavane
VI. Introduction and Cadenza
VII. Tarantella
I. Prelude
II. Hornpipe
III. Saraband
IV. Bourree
V. Brief Interlude
VI. Mazurka
VII. Ground (Jacob's Dream)
VIII. Galop (with Cadenza)
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 1. The Earle of Oxford's Marche
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 2. Pavana
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 3. John come kiss me now
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 4. The Mayden's Song
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 5. Wolsey's Wilde
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 6. The Bells
WORKS
I. March
II. Elegy
III. Waltz
IV. Slow Air
V. Limerick
VI. Chinese Tune
VII. Galop
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro giocoso
I. Allegro
II. Largo
III. Allegro vivace
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Allegro con spirito, quasi presto
I. Andante maestoso - Allegro molto - Andante maestoso
II. Adagio molto
III. Vivace alla marcia
I. Wraggle Taggle Gypsies
II. The Three Ravens
III. Begone Dull Care!
IV. Early One Morning
I. Allegro assai
II. Adagio
III. Allegro risoluto
No. 1. Caprice
No. 2. Cradle Song
No. 3. Country Dance
No. 4. Threnody
No. 5. Russian Dance
I. Allegro moderato
II. Scherzo: Allegro molto
III. Andante semplice
IV. Rondo: Allegro molto
I. Andante maestoso
II. Scherzo
III. Variations and Epilogue
I. Elegiac Prelude: Andante poco tento - Meno mosso (adagio)
II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace - Meno mosso - Tempo I
III. Cortege: Andante poco lento - Adagio
IV. Minuet - Trio: Allegretto
V. Rondo with Epilogue: Allegro vivace - Adagio
I. Allegro
II. Tempo di menuetto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro vivace
I. Prelude
II. English Dance
III. Lament
IV. Burlesca alla Rumba
V. Pavane
VI. Introduction and Cadenza
VII. Tarantella
I. Prelude
II. Hornpipe
III. Saraband
IV. Bourree
V. Brief Interlude
VI. Mazurka
VII. Ground (Jacob's Dream)
VIII. Galop (with Cadenza)
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 1. The Earle of Oxford's Marche
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 2. Pavana
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 3. John come kiss me now
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 4. The Mayden's Song
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 5. Wolsey's Wilde
Jacob: William Byrd Suite - 6. The Bells


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