for SATB (with divisions) unaccompanied Using as its basis William Blake's eponymous poem from the Songs of Innocence and Experience, this work is largely celebratory in tone and employs a range of techniques and textures as a means of expression including glissandi, flowing melismatic passages, and exuberant homophonic sections. Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year for 2006, Chantage and first performed by Chantage, directed by James Davey, at the British Composer Awards on 5 December 2007 in Glaziers Hall, London.
Gabriel Jackson (b.1962)
"The Voice of the Bard, Gabriel Jackson's corruscatingly beautiful Blake setting for SATB, stands as musically the finest and technically the most demainding of these pieces. The mighty opening statement in unison octaves evokes both the mellifluous derring-do of the early Tudor polyphony and ancient cantorial singing. The choral passage's soloistic virtuosity gives way to a sublime reflection on the bard's prophetic vision of innocence and experience, in which choir and four solo voices intertwine. Jackson's visionary soundscape encompasses everything from the ecstatic to the transcendent. The Voice of the Bard deserves to be nurtured and savoured by all accomplished chamber choirs." - Andrew Stewart, Choir & Organ, September 2010