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Francis Jackson Organ Sonatas


andyorgan
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As in the title, does anyone play any of Jackson's six sonatas and could give a brief summary on any of them (timings, style, difficulty etc.)

 

Also, any hints on publishers? I've found 3 of them done by Banks of York, any info on the other three?

 

Many thanks

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Hello,

Also, any hints on publishers? I've found 3 of them done by Banks of York, any info on the other three?

my search gives Sonatas 3 to 6 published by Banks (No. 13962, 13995, 14043, 14047). One Sonata by OUP as listed in the catalogue of Roger Molyneux.

 

Cheers

tiratutti

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As in the title, does anyone play any of Jackson's six sonatas and could give a brief summary on any of them (timings, style, difficulty etc.)

 

Also, any hints on publishers? I've found 3 of them done by Banks of York, any info on the other three?

 

Many thanks

 

=============================

 

 

I shall have to have a dig, but I have some works by Francis Jackson in my collection. I may only have the one Sonata, which is probably his first, entitled, (if I recall correctly), "Sonata da Chiesa," which made its debut at Blackburn Cathedral at the opening of the organ, for which Francis Jackson was one of the consultants. (Peter Hurford another?)

 

I was at the opening recital, which was broadcast on Radio 3, and there is an amusing story concerning this work, because on the night, "Francis" hadn't finished it, and instead, improvised the latter part on the hoof. I do not know whether he then listened to the recording of the broadcast and finished it in accordance with the music as heard over the air-waves, or whether he did something differently when he got around to completing the work. Sadly, I lost the tape of the BBC broadcast, which would have made a fascinating comparison.

 

I can't help but think that his Toccata, Chorale & Fugue is Francis Jackson's finest work, and I am constantly disappointed that no-one ever seems to play the "Diversion for Mixtures," which appeared in that album entitled "the colours of the organ" by Novello.

 

MM

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=============================

 

 

... I can't help but think that his Toccata, Chorale & Fugue is Francis Jackson's finest work, and I am constantly disappointed that no-one ever seems to play the "Diversion for Mixtures," which appeared in that album entitled "the colours of the organ" by Novello.

 

MM

 

Joe Sentance, of St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London, has a long association with Dr Jackson and included both the Diversion for Mixtures and several movements from the organ sonatas in recent recitals. The Diversion received a particularly warm reception.

 

Regards

 

Oscar

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Sonata in G minor, Op. 35 1969/70 (OUP archive - available from Allegro Music)

Sonata giocosa per la renascita di una cattedrale Op 42 1972 (OUP archive - available from Allegro Music)

Third Sonata Op 50 1979 (Banks)

Fourth Sonata (Ten variations on an original theme) Op 68 1985 (Banks)

Sonata V in C minor (a homage to Percy Whitlock) Op 140 2003 (Banks)

Sixth Sonata 2004 [banks]

 

John Henderson: A Dictionary of Composers for Organ

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Sonata in G minor, Op. 35 1969/70 (OUP archive - available from Allegro Music)

Sonata giocosa per la renascita di una cattedrale Op 42 1972 (OUP archive - available from Allegro Music)

Third Sonata Op 50 1979 (Banks)

Fourth Sonata (Ten variations on an original theme) Op 68 1985 (Banks)

Sonata V in C minor (a homage to Percy Whitlock) Op 140 2003 (Banks)

Sixth Sonata 2004 [banks]

 

John Henderson: A Dictionary of Composers for Organ

 

Excellent, thank you for this, just what was needed. Now, anyone with experience of playing them? I'm tempted to buy the Priory set which has Sonatas 1-4 on it.

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I went to Jackson's recital at Derby on Wednesday evening. I'd never heard any of his music before - he played No. 6 through and I have to confess that it didn't do that much for me. Built up to a reasonable finale at the end, perhaps. It wasn't long (20 mins I'd guess) and three movements.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I play both Sonatas 5 & 6, the copies of which were given to me by Dr Jackson himself. He sent me Sonata 5 as a "going-away present" when I left York in 2003; I had the pleasure of hearing it in his Minster recital that year, sharing my copy with Philip Moore and exchanging knowing glances whenever it seemed that a wrong note had been played - with Francis, a wrong note could just as easily be a revision! Some years later I was playing at York myself, and although my programme did not include so much as a note of FJ's music, he came along anyway and asked if I had learnt his 6th Sonata yet - whereupon I said I had been waiting to get hold of a copy, whereupon he produced one from out of his bag and handed it to me, admonishing me to get to work on it straight away. I was utterly lost for words at this display of the legendary Jackson generosity - "Dr Jackson, I really don't know what to say!" "Well then, don't say it!" came his reply...

 

Both works have many rewarding moments for player and listener. The inner movements of both works (Scherzetto and Canzona in 5, reflecting the fact that the whole work is a homage to Whitlock and his own C minor Sonata) are extremely useful on their own as service material or recital fillers. The technical demands of each work are considerable - active pedal parts, quick changes of manual to be executed cleanly, registration changes ditto (although the composer is seldom specific about what he wants; it's up to you to find the best sounds available on your instrument that will also suit the character of the music). However, you may find the learning process hugely enjoyable, especially if you take your time and don't rush, even where a faster tempo is clearly required. (FJ would often quote Bairstow in his lessons with me: "If you drive through the countryside in a fast car, you'll miss all the beauty and the detail" or words to that effect.)

 

Sonata 6 could just about work on a two-manual instrument if that's all you have; 5 needs at least three manuals, as do the other sonatas.

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