Gordon Jacob


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 51-62 of 62 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Voyage / Don Bailey
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 239 Release Date: 07/13/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski,  Maurice Ravel,  John Corigliano,  Ernesto Köhler  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Takeda,  Brant Bayless,  Michael Carrera,  Don Bailey  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 52.
    Artists Of The Century - Michala Petri - Ultimate Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 59112 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Malcolm Arnold,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Alastair Ross,  Michala Petri,  Elizabeth Selin,  Lars Hannibal  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Neary,  Okko Kamu,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Gordon Langford
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 53.
    20th Century British Music For Oboe / Mcmullen, Herbener
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 724 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Lennox Berkeley,  Gordon Jacob,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Performer:  Catherine Herbener,  William McMullen
    CD: $15.99
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  • 54.
    Donald Knaub - Sound Waves
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 680 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Donald Grantham,  Samuel Adler,  Gustav Mahler,  Frigyes Hidas  ... 
    Performer:  Donald Knaub,  Rex Woods
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  • 55.
    Soliloquy - British Music For Solo Oboe / Gordon Hunt
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 769 Release Date: 02/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Neil Saunders,  Andrew Jackman,  Nicola LeFanu,  Mary Chandler  ... 
    Performer:  Gordon Hunt
    CD: $19.99
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  • 56.
    Ave Verum - Favorite Parish Anthems / Brown, Clare College
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7109 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Henry Walford Davies,  Gordon Jacob,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Dominic Wheeler,  Ian Thomas,  Ruth Morris,  Nick Hudson  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir
    CD: $11.99
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  • 57.
    British Trombone Concertos / Christian Lindberg, Llewellyn
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 658 Release Date: 03/08/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Derek Bourgeois,  Elgar Howarth,  Gordon Jacob
    Performer:  Christian Lindberg
    Conductor:  Grant Llewellyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    CD: $19.99
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  • 58.
    The Brass And The Band / Chicago Chamber Brass, Et Al
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 431 Release Date: 06/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugčne Bozza,  Herbert L. Clarke,  Edward Llewellyn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Camp,  Richard Frazier,  Steven Gamble,  Elizabeth Halloin  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Dunn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Wind Symphony,  Chicago Chamber Brass
    CD: $15.99
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  • 59.
    Horn Concertos / Hermansson, Tjivzjel, Umeĺ Sinfonietta
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 376 Release Date: 04/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Atterberg,  Max Reger,  Mátyás Seiber,  Lars-Erik Larsson  ... 
    Performer:  Sören Hermansson
    Conductor:  Edvard Tjivzjel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Umeĺ Sinfonietta
    CD: $19.99
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  • 60.
    Bax: Oboe Quintet; Holst, Jacob, Moeran / Sarah Francis
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8392 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Gustav Holst,  Gordon Jacob,  Ernest John Moeran
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Sarah Francis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Quartet
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 61.
    Fanfare - British Music For Symphonic Brass Ensemble
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6573 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Arthur Benjamin,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  James Stobart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Locke Brass Ensemble,  Locke Brass Consort
    CD: $11.99
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  • 62.
    Vaughan Williams, Tausky, Moody, Jacob / Reilly, Marriner
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8617 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Vilem Tausky,  James Moody,  Gordon Jacob
    Performer:  Tommy Reilly
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $18.99
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