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Daniel in Babylon

Francis Jackson - Daniel in Babylon

As Director, St Peters Singers
Recorded in Leeds Parish Church
with the composer at the organ
PHI CD 145

See also "A Time of Fire"

DANIEL IN BABYLON

Composed for the opening celebrations of Coventry Cathedral in 1962, Daniel in Babylon explores an extremely rare musical medium of accompaniment to declaimed narrative. The matchless poetic English of the King James Version of Holy Scripture is used for the compelling narrative of the Third Book of Daniel – with scenes including Daniel in the Lions' Den and Belshazzar's Feast – and from the colourful apocryphal writings Bel and the Dragon in which is recorded the story of Susanna and the Elders.

Each scene concludes with original writing by actor-dramatist John Stuart Anderson, who takes part in this recording with composer Dr Francis Jackson and acclaimed Leeds Chamber Choir, St Peter's Singers

The musical score of Daniel in Babylon exists in several forms.

The published vocal and organ copy, including all spoken material [on sale from Banks Music Publications, The Old Forge, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LB] is of the original version – reciter and organ only, though the choral motet settings of the entr'actes are included and there is a detailed note on the work by Dr Simon Lindley.

Optional percussion parts, and chorus scores, are obtainable on hire.

The evocative texts of the Motets, together with the Prologue and Epilogue are by John Stuart Anderson himself. The words achieve strength by economy of verbal expression as can be discerned from the texts of the motets.

Daniel in Babylon is one of two highly fruitful artistic collaborations in this rare medium. A Time of Fire (originally Tyndale) was commissioned by the Broadland Singers for performance at the Norwich and Norfolk Triennial Festival of 1967 in conjunction with John Stuart Anderson.

Tyndale, A Comedy of Sorts is also available as a play without music. Capable of performance by a cast as small as one, the play has been recently published by J Garnett Miller.

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