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Eventide (Berceuse)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/17/20)
Composer: Jackson, Bernard
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Bernard Jackson (b. 1869) was organist at the People's Palace in the Mile End Road, London, as well as organist at Christ Church, Battersea and of St. Giles', Crippelgate, both in London as well.

Bernard Jackson was actually baptized ‘Bob’ and his marriage (1902) and death certificates bear this name.

"Eventide (Berceuse)" was published by The Vincent Music Co. Ltd. in 1908 as "No. 153" in their "The Organ Loft" series. It is dedicated: "To my Mother."

It certainly has been was the case that many organ composers of the time were fascinated in composing various "settings" of pieces called, "Eventide," "Evensong," "Vesper Hymn," etc. The traditional worship of the Church places a great emphasis on celebrating the "opening" (Matins) and "closing" (Evensong) offices of the day.

In our modern age, with digital lighting and all sorts of "electronic brightnesses," we forget the power of the night, which was light not by central, track lighting, but by the flickering light of candles or gas lamps.

Jackson's "Eventide" captures the coming in of the night in great atmosphere. It also achieves the effect of the "berceuse" or lullaby.

The tune is a gentle hint of bells ringing softly across the meadow, or "down the stream" to the next village. The "simplicity" of the piece hide its greatest technical difficulty - thumbing down.

In spots you'll hear three distinctive manual sounds, the main two are the melody, played upon the Swell Oboe with sub-coupler and tremulant, and a bell-refrain, also played by the right hand on the Great Stopped Diapason.

At the end of the piece, Jackson calls for a soft 32'. Because Salisbury's Open Wood is actually an extension of a big open diapason, the "high F" can't be played upon it, as it would be way too loud! So, I played the Pedal in octaves (for the F) using only the 16' Bourdon, then removing it and adding the 32' on the final B-flat. :-)

The score is attached below, as well photos of places Jackson served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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