Dr Francis Jackson’s work at York Minster, coupled with his activities as a world famous recitalist, made it impossible for him to devote regular hours to composition. That he has composed such a large body of work in a variety of different genres is testimony to his talent as a composer and his devotion to the craft. Of the choral music listed in the appendix to Jackson's recent autobiography, there are sixty-three anthems and fifty-six liturgical settings. Like the music of Bairstow, the most well known of Jackson’s anthems and canticles are sung in cathedrals and churches throughout the Anglican Communion and beyond. All show the mark of a serious composer and one who understands voices, acoustics, and the role of the organ as an accompanying instrument. In this article originally appearing in the RCO Journal of 2017, Philip Moore analyses Jackson's compositional techniques, his approach to word-setting, and gives some suggestions on the interpretation and registration of Jackson's choral and liturgical works.
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