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Classical Music Review

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The Music of Jeffrey Jacob


Composer: Jeffrey Jacob
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 25 March 2022

Sequoias from composer Jeffrey Jacob and Navona Records is an ode to the entrancing qualities of the natural world, echoing through music an appreciation for its transcendental beauty and concern for the devastating impact of climate change. Inspired by what he calls “cathedral-like sentinels of nature,” 'Symphony No. 6' meditates on the magnificence and grandeur of the tall trees towering in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Other pieces are inspired by the limitless reverberations conjured from the forest and the natural light that illuminates it...

There's an interesting mix of styles on Sequoias: The Music of Jeffrey Jacob, but one element that pulls them together is that it's all healthy music for your soul. Composer Jeffrey Jacob (Reawakening; Dreamers) taps into the human heart here as he delivers piece after piece that touches the listener on an emotional level.

The album opens with the four-piece 'Symphony No. 6 Sequoias' which is mostly comprised of music that conjures up feelings of mystery, wonder and spiritual growth.

The two pieces on 'Music for Strings, Percussion, and Oboe' deliver exactly what their titles imply. 'Taut, Anxious' and 'Tranquil, Graceful' are two pieces that are at odds with each other, but work so well when grouped together.

'Two Pieces for Piano' is a little more avant-garde than I can normally tolerate. Thankfully, Jacob builds suspense and wonderment in enough quantity that there is some semblance of traditional structure.

'String Quartet No. 2' again uses music to conjure up feelings within the listener. Both 'I. Tense, Expectant' and 'II. Pensive, Nostalgic' deliver exactly what they promise.

Overall this is a beautifully rich and varied album of emotionally draining work.

Track listing:

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Stanislav Vavřínek (conductor); Jeffrey Jacob, (piano)
01 - Symphony No. 6 "Sequoias": I. The Forest Awakens (6:19)
02 - Symphony No. 6 "Sequoias": II. Under Siege (5:48)
03 - Symphony No. 6 "Sequoias": III. Meditation (4:04)
04 - Symphony No. 6 "Sequoias": IV. Moist Stars (5:23)

The Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra | Daniel Spalding (conductor); Jeffrey Jacob (piano)
05 - Music for Strings, Percussion, and Oboe: I. Taut, Anxious (4:49)
06 - Music for Strings, Percussion, and Oboe: II. Tranquil, Graceful (9:00)

Jeffrey Jacob (piano)
07 - Two Pieces for Piano: I. Forest Murmurs (7:08)
08 - Two Pieces for Piano: II. The Breath of the Earth (5:22)

The New England Quartet
09 - String Quartet No. 2: I. Tense, Expectant (5:19)
10 - String Quartet No. 2: II. Pensive, Nostalgic (6:06)


Darren Rea

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