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26 May 2024
100+: Organ Music by Francis Jackson

Mark Swinton (organ of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick)

The doyen of British organists, Francis Jackson celebrated his 100th birthday in 2017. He has remained active as a composer, and his music is widely performed. In this recording, made during that centenary year and now released by Willowhayne Records, Mark Swinton pays tribute to this remarkable musician with a survey of his organ music, encompassing works written throughout his 100-plus years. From the heartfelt Impromptu of 1944, a birthday gift to his teacher and mentor Sir Edward Bairstow, to his Fifth and Sixth Organ Sonatas composed during the first decade of the present century, Jackson's flair at writing for his own instrument is abundantly displayed. In the clean acoustics of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, the 1980 Nicholson organ offers a blend of Classical and Romantic aesthetics that perfectly amplify the counterpoint, texture and colours of this richly rewarding music.


Francis Jackson

The Archbishop's Fanfare, Op.27

Organ Sonata No.6, Op.148

I. Molto moderato

II. Andante

III. Moderato


Scherzetto Pastorale, Op.20

Intrada (Daniel in Babylon), Op.84 No.7

Impromptu, Op.5

Diversion for Mixtures, Op.25

Fantasy on Sine Nomine, Op.60 No.5

Prelude on East Acklam, Op.60 No.4

Organ Sonata No.5, Op.140

I. Moderato

II. Scherzetto: Moderato

III. Canzona: Larghetto

IV. Allegro

Recorded in the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, UK on 5th & 6th April 2017
Booklet design: Hannah Whale, Fruition Creative Concepts
Recording Engineering & Production: Paul Arden-Taylor
Total Time: 67.06
Release Date: September 2020

Mark Swinton (organ)Mark Swinton was educated at the King's School, Chester, and at the University of York, graduating with BA in Music in 2002 and MA in Music two years later. He has studied with David Briggs, Roger Fisher, Dr Francis Jackson and John Scott Whiteley, amongst others, and has participated in masterclasses with Johannes Geffert and Dame Gillian Weir. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists since 2006, he has given numerous recitals at venues throughout the UK. He has also performed, as both a soloist and accompanist, in France, Germany, Holland and Spain. His first solo recording, Colours of the Klais (Cloister Records) marked the 10th anniversary in 2007 of the Klais organ in Bath Abbey; 2016 saw the release of A Bach Family Album (Willowhayne Records). He has an occasional duo partnership with violinist Lucy Phillips; they have given concerts together in Bath, Chester, Warwick and Worksop, and recorded a CD.

Since 2011, Mark has been Assistant Director at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, having previously held positions at Kendal Parish Church, Bath Abbey and Royal High School, and Clifton College, Bristol. At Warwick, he accompanies the St Mary's Choirs of Boys, Girls and Men in four choral services every week whilst assisting with their training and direction. He has appeared with them in concert, including the premières of choral works by Naji Hakim and David Briggs, on tours throughout the UK and abroad, on radio and television broadcasts, and on two recent CD recordings to date: Christmas from Warwick and Gaudeamus omnes: celebrating Warwick 1100 (Regent Records). He also directs St Mary's Scholars, an adult chamber choir that sings occasional services in St Mary's whilst undertaking its own programme of concerts and tours.

Although primarily an organist, Mark has performed as a harpsichordist since student days in York, often appearing as a continuo player with the University Baroque Ensemble and even venturing into the world of contemporary music for the instrument via what is now known as the Chimera Ensemble. He has also accompanied the soprano Yvonne Seymour and provided continuo for the Yorkshire Youth Orchestra and EU Chamber Orchestra.

WHR065     View Booklet

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