Notes and Editorial Reviews
"The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace received its world première in April 2000 at London's Royal Albert Hall. In a rapturous performance, by turns visceral and ethereal, the Mass was a firebomb of orchestral and human voices." The Times
Karl Jenkins - The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
Karl Jenkins, who was awarded a CBE earlier this year, is widely recognised as the world’s most popular living composer following a recent poll by renowned cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht. The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace is his most performed work, having been performed 900 times since its world premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall in April 2000. Commissioned jointly by The Royal Armouries and Classic FM, it was
initially inspired by the Kosovan conflict, but the clear message of hope this work brings to so many resounds even stronger ten years later. The piece regularly sits high in the Classic FM ‘Hall of Fame’ voted for by listeners, this year coming in at #15, making Karl Jenkins the radio station’s best-loved living composer.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this popular piece, EMI Classics is releasing a Special Edition package comprising the original recording of The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace coupled with the world premiere recording of his brand new piece For the Fallen: In memoriam Alfryn Jenkins, a DVD featuring a full filmed performance of The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace and a special extended commemorative booklet.
For the Fallen: In memoriam Alfryn Jenkins is a setting of Laurence Binyon’s poem, which is recited across the world every Remembrance Day, dedicated to the memory of the composer’s viola-playing uncle, Pilot Officer Alfryn Jenkins. He was captain of a Lancaster Bomber which was lost in action, together with his all-Welsh crew, during a raid over Berlin in 1944. Karl Jenkins was born in February of that year, and Alfryn Jenkins visited his family on his last leave before the fateful mission. The setting opens with a viola solo, as a homage to Alfryn Jenkins and incorporates The Last Post. The soprano solo is performed by Hayley Westenra and the spoken verse is read by legendary British actor Bernard Cribbins. The brand new piece will receive its world premiere performance at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance concerts taking place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 13th November 2010 and later broadcast on BBC TV.
Special anniversary performances of The Armed Man will be presented at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 31 October and at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall on 14 November, both conducted by Karl Jenkins himself, with the music set to the original moving imagery.
Born in Wales, Karl Jenkins studied the oboe and graduated from Cardiff University, followed by post-graduate studies at London’s Royal College of Music. A passion for jazz – he was a member of the bands Nucleus and Soft Machine – led him to composition. Classically trained, but drawing on a diverse range of global influences, his composing style has transcended musical boundaries, including memorable ad jingles for Delta Air Lines, the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society, De Beers diamonds, British Airways and Levi’s Jeans, the global ‘crossover’ phenomenon Adiemus, more ‘classical’ commissions such as Requiem, Stabat Mater, Quirk and The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace and television and feature film soundtracks. Recent recordings include Gloria, Stella Natalis and Joy to the World, Kiri Sings Karl with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa who received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in Music Award at this year’s Classical BRIT Awards; Requiem and Stabat Mater.
Works on This Recording
A Mass for Peace "The Armed Man" by Karl Jenkins
Paul Beniston (Trumpet),
Tristan Hambleton (Boy Soprano),
Guy Johnston (Cello),
Susie Parkes (Soprano),
Elizabeth Witts (Soprano),
Philip Shakesby (Bass),
Nicholas Merryweather (Baritone),
Rachel Lloyd (Mezzo Soprano),
Mohammed Gad (Voice)
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1999; England
Length: 67 Minutes 9 Secs.
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