Jeffrey Jacob: Reawakening
Format: COMPACT DISC
Turner, Lara; Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra; Jacob, Jeffrey; Pérez Mesa, Enrique; Cuba National Symphony Orchestra; Spalding, Daniel; New Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra
Composer and pianist Jeffrey Jacobs returns to Navona Records with Reawakening, a collection of varied works for orchestra and chamber ensembles. Jacob's lush, mystical style pervades the album, often blending his piano's sound with orchestral arrangements to create rich musical imagery, as in The Loch Before Sunrise and A Mirror Upon the Waters. The title work is a composition for piano and orchestra, which was debuted on Ansonica Records' second Cuba-based album Intersections. It's one of the first pieces by an American composer to be recorded by the Cuban National Symphony in 50 years. Jacob found inspiration from Thomas Hardy's poem of the same name, writing that Hardy's "unforgettable images of the natural world as it struggles toward spring and rebirth were irresistible." The Loch Before Sunrise and A Mirror Upon the Waters follow, both colorful works for piano and orchestra that explore imagery from different Alpine lakes. Music for Haiti for piccolo and strings contrasts these themes, evoking the sorrow, loss, hopefulness, and rebirth of Haiti following the devastation of its recent earthquake. Remembrance of Thigns Past, another piece inspired by literature, takes its title from a Shakespearean sonnet. It features a soloist showcase for oboe, as well as a meditative chaconne. Jacob's Sonata for Cello and Piano has two remarkable contrasting movements, opposing the gentle opening "Lullaby" with a faster, more anxious movement with sweeping melodic lines. The album closes with a work for solo piano Rewakening, recalling the opening piece and bringing the album full circle.