Composer Clive Jenkins
Price $12.00 (U.S.) Released 6/14
Difficulty Moderately easy
Catalog no. 160-650
British composer Clive Jenkins delivers a delightful three movement organ suite, firmly within the great tradition of English pastoral music. The subtitle “organ pieces for odd times” refers to the fact that each movement is in a different meter with an odd number of beats (5, 3, and 7). The first pastorale is lilting in character, the second tender and lyric, and the third bounding and joyful. They may be played either with manuals only or with pedal.
"These modest pieces contain more substance than a quick glance might suggest. The British fondness for puns is reflected in the subtitle, which refers to the odd number of beats in the meters chosen by the composer (five, three, and seven). Clive Jenkins was born in Plymouth, England in 1938 and has composed orchestral, choral, and instrumental music, some of which has been featured on television. The musical language of these pieces is firmly rooted in the English pastoral tradition of composers such as Vaughan Williams, Finzi, and Delius. Yet while the individual harmonies tend toward the conservative, there are passages of unusual chord progressions and individual dissonant chords that bring to mind a composer such as Langlais or Mathias. Although this might sound like an odd combination, Jenkins’ musical language is logical in and of itself--traditional but with a bit of spice thrown in. These three pieces go beyond the innocuous flavor of most pastoral music and make a convincing set. Indeed, the second of the three, a peaceful ternary meditation in 3/4 time, is the only one that fulfills most of the stereotypes associated with the genre. The lively outer movements in the irregular meters of 5/4 and 7/4 are delightful, especially when Jenkins alternates groupings of beats in adjacent measures. The third piece is a sunny shepherd’s dance that, like the first movement, ends in a jubilant fortissimo. Although these pieces have pedal indications, they may be played on manuals only. Not difficult, they would make a satisfying set or could be used individually for service music or teaching. Originally published in the United Kingdom, a recording by Carson Cooman inspired their reissue here by Selah." --AAM Journal, November 2014
"Jenkins is an English composer, not well known in the United States. His writing is fresh, witty, creative, eccentric, defying categorization. He favors irregular meters like 5/4 and 7/4, with surprising tonal shifts. Pedals are optional. The composer gives no registration suggestions, only volume levels, although the pieces cry out for creative registration. The three movements are not recognizable as traditional pastorale movements, other than sharing an appealing, common gentle spirit. They are not technically difficult. Three Pastorales would make a nice, fresh addition to the American repertoire." --Cross Accent, Fall/Winter 2017