The Inside Story: Jeffrey Jacob

Long-time PARMA artist pianist and composer,  Jeffery Jacob,  has had his works performed worldwide by several high-profile ensembles, including Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and most recently by the Cuban National Symphony. Today, Jacob is our next featured artist for “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalites of our artists. Read on to find out what his favorite musical moment was!

Jeffrey Jacob

Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?

Like most young children, I listened to the music my parents listened to.  They were passionate about Lawrence Welk, and we never missed a TV show.  I began piano lessons at the age of 5, and shortly thereafter various aunts and uncles would bombard me with the question, “Do you think you’ll ever be good enough to play with Lawrence Welk?”  My parents both sang in the church choir, and I could sense their deep love and profound response to music, although they never ever listened to Classical Music and were quite intimidated by it.  Later, as a pianist, I fell under the influence of Vladimir Horowitz’s recordings and was totally blown away by the rock star status of Van Cliburn after he won the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the cold war.  I still vividly remember the newsreels of his New York City ticker tape parade.  During this period–middle school and high school–I thought it would be wonderful to have a career creating, performing and teaching music.

What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?

My most sensationally memorable performance occurred in Warsaw, Poland.  I was performing George Crumb’s Makrokosmos, Vol. IV for piano duet with a Polish pianist.  Like all of Crumb’s piano music, much of the work is performed inside the piano with the pianists plucking, muting and playing glissandos over the strings.  At one point during the performance, I looked down at the keys.  Some of them were covered in blood.  The other pianist had nicked a finger on one of the sharp edges inside the instrument.  We finished the movement, and he produced two handkerchiefs and wiped up the blood.  The piano was turned so that most of the audience could see what was happening, and there were audible gasps.  When we finally finished the piece, the audience erupted in applause celebrating the fact that we had literally sacrificed the flesh for the sake of contemporary art!

What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is writing music that is unabashedly tonal, romantic, and relentlessly melodic.  Although I have great admiration for serial and post-serial music (I’ve recorded three CDs of exclusively serial piano works by American composers), I’m troubled by the fact the complexity of this music is inaccessible to the general public.  A Spanish composer told me recently that young composers throughout Europe are furious with Boulez and Stockhausen for “destroying” (his word) the audience for new music in Europe.  And of course, when Boulez was appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic he promised to prove to the world that the general musical public would come to appreciate and embrace serial music.  During his tenure there he proved exactly the opposite.

NV6087 - Reawakening - Front Cover
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?

My favorite musical moment on the album REAWAKENING was the recording of the signature work, “Awakening for Piano and Orchestra” with the Cuban National Symphony under its Music Director, Enrique Perez Mesa.   It was a great thrill to travel to Cuba and perform and record with this excellent ensemble and first class conductor.

Was there a piece on your album that you found more difficult to compose/perform than the others?

This work was by far the most difficult to compose.  I wanted to convey the sense of struggle and triumph in musical gestures that were not overly simplistic or derivative, but at the same time accessible and appealing to non-musicians.  For me, a very delicate balancing of sometimes disparate musical material.

Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?

I hope that listeners will find the album UPLIFTING.  The music conjures many images:  consciousness in both senses of the word, rebirth, the rhythms of the natural world, and reanimation.    “Reawakening” implies cyclic phenomena, and indeed the album was designed to suggest the most fundamental of all cycles:  birth development, maturity, death and rebirth in both the human and natural worlds.

Jeffrey Jacobs Navona Records release REAWAKENING is now available to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic. The album is also streaming on Spotify.

 

 

April 2017 New Releases on Navona and Ravello Records!

02-April2017-Facebook

Happy Friday! Are you ready for another round of releases featuring new ensembles and artists, compilations, and re-releases? Well, take a deep breath and try to relax as you take in these big releases…


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DRESS CODE  |  Altius Quartet

A bold treat of fresh arrangements of popular staples, effortlessly combining the appeal of classical, jazz, and pop, in such pieces as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir”; Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”; a-ha’s “Take on Me”; and a newer pieces Take It, an unlikely pairing of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify


NV6087 - Reawakening - Front Cover.jpg

REAWAKENING  |  Jeffrey Jacob

A collection of varied works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, showcasing composer Jeffrey Jacob’s lush, mystical style.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  |  Spotify


NV6089-ERGO-FrontCover

ERGO  |  Zhen Chen

An impressive contribution to the decades-long legacy of composers blending Chinese and western instruments and musical materials.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify 


NV6090 - The Chamber Music Of Allen Brings - Front Cover

THE CHAMBER WORKS OF ALLEN BRINGS  |  Allen Brings

A triple re-release containing a collection of works for small ensembles comprised of a diverse selection of instruments.

Amazon  |  iTunes  | Spotify


NV6091 - Winters Warmth - front cover.jpg

WINTER’S WARMTH  |  Andrew Schultz, John A. Carollo, R. Barry Ulrich, J.A. Kawarksy

An orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich, presenting conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify


NV6092 - Small Storms - Front Cover.jpg

SMALL STORMS  |  Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello; Sun Min Kim, piano

Features Bohuslav Martinů’s duos for cello and piano from the latter half of his life, with the performances of Blecha-Wells and pianist Sun Min Kim fully embodying the folkloric sensibility and conservative style that typify the composer’s oeuvre.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  | Spotify


RR7967 - Twilight Remembered - Front Cover.jpg

TWILIGHT REMEMBERED  |  McCormick Duo

A re-release of a collection of contemporary compositions for percussion and flute, including works from various composers.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Spotify


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RED LILIES OF BELLS GOLDEN LILIES OF BELLS WHITE LILIES OF BELLS  |  Alla Elana Cohen

Previously compared to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, creative and evocative composer Alla Elana Cohen presents a collection of wildly imaginative works for string quartet, small ensemble, solo cello, and chamber orchestra.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube  

*RED LILIES OF BELLS GOLDEN LILIES OF BELLS WHITE LILIES OF BELLS will be released April 21st, however the album is available for pre-order.

 

Preview of April 2017 PARMA Releases

02-April2017-Facebook

Happy Spring! The snow is melting, the trees are budding, and we are prepping for another round of releases featuring new ensembles and artists, compilations, and re-releases.  Take a deep breath and try to relax because we have some big releases coming your way.


NV6078-DRESSCODE-FrontCover.jpg

DRESS CODE | Altius Quartet

A bold treat of fresh arrangements of popular staples, effortlessly combining the appeal of classical, jazz, and pop, in such pieces as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir”; Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”; a-ha’s “Take on Me”; and a newer pieces Take It, an unlikely pairing of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

Amazon | iTunesArkivMusicYouTube


NV6087 - Reawakening - Front Cover.jpg

REAWAKENING | Jeffrey Jacob

A collection of varied works for orchestra and chamber ensembles, showcasing composer Jeffrey Jacob’s lush, mystical style.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusicYouTube


NV6089-ERGO-FrontCover

ERGO | Zhen Chen

An impressive contribution to the decades-long legacy of composers blending Chinese and western instruments and musical materials.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusicYouTube


NV6090 - The Chamber Music Of Allen Brings - Front Cover

THE CHAMBER WORKS OF ALLEN BRINGS | Allen Brings

A triple re-release containing a collection of works for small ensembles comprised of a diverse selection of instruments.

Amazon | iTunes


NV6091 - Winters Warmth - front cover.jpg

WINTER’S WARMTH | Andrew Schultz, John A. Carollo, R. Barry Ulrich, J.A. Kawarksy

An orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich, presenting conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusic | YouTube


NV6092 - Small Storms - Front Cover.jpg

SMALL STORMS | Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello; Sun Min Kim, piano

Features Bohuslav Martinů’s duos for cello and piano from the latter half of his life, with the performances of Blecha-Wells and pianist Sun Min Kim fully embodying the folkloric sensibility and conservative style that typify the composer’s oeuvre.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusic | YouTube


RR7967 - Twilight Remembered - Front Cover.jpg

TWILIGHT REMEMBERED | McCormick Duo

A re-release of a collection of contemporary compositions for percussion and flute, including works from various composers.

Amazon | iTunes


rr7953---red,-golden,-white-lilies-of-bells---front-cover.jpg

RED LILLIES OF BELLS | Alla Elana Cohen

Previously compared to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, creative and evocative composer Alla Elana Cohen presents a collection of wildly imaginative works for string quartet, small ensemble, solo cello, and chamber orchestra.

Amazon | iTunes | ArkivMusic | YouTube

*Release Date: April 21st. Pre-order of the album available prior to release.

Release Date: April 14th

PARMA Album of the Day: DARKNESS TO LIGHT

darkess-to-light

Composer and conductor Jeffrey Jacob, recently featured on  INTERSECTIONS, the second album release on Ansonica Records, released his debut PARMA album DARKNESS TO LIGHT on Navona Records in October of 2014. Featuring London Symphony Orchestra and New England String Quartet, this album depicts the experiences of struggle and pain, and of triumph and joy that Jacob has experienced in life.  Kathodik says the album is “hypnotic.”

You can purchase DARKNESS TO LIGHT on Amazon and iTunes.

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