JEFFREY JACOB (b.196?): Symphony No. 1 (Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Toshiyuki Shimada), Symphony No. 3 "Death and Transfiguration" (London Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Spalding), Adagietto Misterioso (Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Joel Spigelman), Elegy (Hradec Králové Philharmonic; Jon Mitchell), String Quartet No. 2 (New England String Quartet).
Catalogue Number: 10Q086
Label: Navona Records
Description: Jacob's music places its emphasis on melody above all, in a thoroughly accessible tonal language, harmonically generous but uncomplicated. Jacob's idiom tends toward the popularly approachable end of the spectrum, sometimes suggesting the genre of Rachmaninov-pastiche 'tabloid concertos', popular at one time, or highly skilled film composers like Craig Armstrong with their 'classical' hats on. Ostinato figuration with a hint of minimalism here and there, and a fondness for contrapuntally interweaving lines of melody are also notable characteristics, and all but the quartet contain a concertante part for the piano, reflecting the composer's parallel career as prolifically active pianist with a wide-ranging repertory. All the pieces follow a similar emotional trajectory, as suggested in the CD title "Darkness to Light". The Third is an interesting exercise in writing a new piece of music to follow the narrative of Strauss' Op.24. There are audible reminiscences of the Strauss in Jacob's three-movement concertante work, which is otherwise more closely modeled on Rachmaninovian lyricism.