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
Browse 26-50 of 62 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bax, Jacob: Cello Works / Hooton, Parry
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2104 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob,  Arnold Bax
    Performer:  Florence Hooton,  Wilfrid Parry
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  • 27.
    Moeran, Jacob: Piano Music / Loveridge
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 1103 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest John Moeran,  Gordon Jacob
    Performer:  Iris Loveridge
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  • 28.
    The English Tuba / Eugene Dowling
    Label: Tromba Bassa Records   Catalog: 5637646644 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Malcolm Arnold  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Dowling,  Edward Norman
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman
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  • 29.
    Masterpieces For Horn & Strings - Britten, Etc / Gross
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 490 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob,  Lars-Erik Larsson,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Steven Gross
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  • 30.
    Jacob: Symphonies No 1 & 2 / Wordsworth, London Po
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 315 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 31.
    British Horn Concertos - Arnold, Jacob / Pyatt, Braithwaite
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 316 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruth Gipps,  York Bowen,  Malcolm Arnold,  Gilbert Vinter  ... 
    Performer:  David Pyatt
    Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Altered States - Sierra, Etc / Corporon, North Texas Wind
    Label: Gia   Catalog: 685 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roberto Sierra,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Milburn, Dwayne, Capt.,  Frank Ticheli  ... 
    Performer:  Mary Karen Clardy
    Conductor:  Eugene Migliaro Corporon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North Texas University Wind Ensemble
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  • 33.
    British Piano Quartets - Bridge, Walton, Jacob, Et Al / Ames Piano Quartet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 910 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Alexander Mackenzie,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Gordon Jacob  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Sturm,  George Work,  Mahlon Darlington,  William David
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
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  • 34.
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 6720 Release Date: 12/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  John Philip Sousa,  James Paul Sain,  Girolamo Frescobaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Mitchell Estrin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble
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  • 35.
    Eufish / Mark Fisher, Mark Lawson
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 162 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Jean-Baptiste Arban,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Fisher,  Mark Lawson
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  • 36.
    Sivelov: Danzas;  Hindemith, Piazzolla, Etc / Baadsvik
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1585 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Anthony Plog,  Leonard Bernstein,  Gordon Jacob  ... 
    Performer:  Oystein Baadsvik,  Niklas Sivelov
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  • 37.
    Songs Of The Earth / Grainger, Us Air Force Band
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11159 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Gordon Jacob,  Ottorino Respighi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Lowell Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The United States Air Force Band
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  • 38.
    Works For Bassoon - Weber, Et Al / The Fibonacci Sequence
    Label: Deux-elles   Catalog: 1104 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Henri Sauguet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gordon Jacob  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Skinner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fibonacci Sequence
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  • 39.
    Bravura Bassoon - Villa-lobos, Brandl, Jacob, Etc / Coelho
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 844 Release Date: 01/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernhard Heiden,  Gordon Jacob,  Johann Evangelist Brandl,  Heitor Villa-Lobos
    Performer:  Christine Rutledge,  Benjamin Coelho,  Volkan Orhon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maia Quartet
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  • 40.
    Superflute - Kupferman, Colquhoun, Price / Garrison, Price
    Label: Capstone Records   Catalog: 5637371981 Release Date: 08/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob,  Howard Sandroff,  Roger Price,  Michael Colquhoun  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Garrison,  Roger Price
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  • 41.
    Gordon Jacob: Chamber Works / Ensemble Piů
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 97517 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob
    Performer:  Eva Gosling,  Martin Börner,  Thomas Grote,  Andreas Gosling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Piů
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  • 42.
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 5019 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Melvin Shelton,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gordon Jacob,  Steven Reineke  ... 
    Conductor:  Sarah Mckoin,  Col. Arnald Gabriel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Texas All-State 4a Symphonic Band,  Texas All State Concert Band
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  • 43.
    The Begian Years Vol 20 / University Of Illinois Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 4890 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Arutiunian,  Carlos Chavez,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alfred Reed  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Symphonic Band
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  • 44.
    Sinfonietta Ventus En Vivo / Guido Maria Guida
    Label: Urtext   Catalog: 56 Release Date: 02/04/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Edvard Grieg,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Guido Maria Guida
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonietta Ventus
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  • 45.
    For Your Life - For When You're Alone
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472482 Release Date: 09/24/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ottorino Respighi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Irena Grafenauer,  Maria Graf,  Mischa Maisky,  Monica Huggett  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Semyon Bychkov,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Bastille Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Old Wine In New Bottles / Wisconsin Wind Orchestra
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 3882 Release Date: 09/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn,  Charles Gounod,  Robert Kurka,  Gordon Jacob
    Conductor:  Lawrence Dale Harper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wisconsin Wind Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Centenary Tribute To Frederick Thurston
    Label: Clarinet Classics   Catalog: 10037 Release Date: 09/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Alan Rawsthorne,  Gordon Jacob,  Sir Arthur Bliss
    Performer:  Frederick Thurston,  Myers Foggin,  Thea King
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  • 48.
    Francaix, Jacob, Mozart / Bruch Trio
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 287 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gordon Jacob,  Jean Françaix
    Performer:  Jesse Levine,  Rex Woods,  Jerry Kirkbride
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bruch Trio
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  • 49.
    Boston Symphony's Wayne Rapier Oboe Recital
    Label: Boston Records   Catalog: 1016 Release Date: 01/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Guilhaud,  J. Melvin Butler,  Howard Hanson,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Rapier
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  • 50.
    New Music For Winds & Percussion Vol 2 - Christina's World
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 403 Release Date: 08/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Gillingham,  Gordon Jacob,  Michael Daugherty,  Timothy Broege  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Magnanini,  Whit Sidener
    Conductor:  Gary Green
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Miami Wind Ensemble
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