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Kendal Choral Society inspired and ready to raise the roof
KARL Jenkins's The Armed Man is a true modern classic. Just listening to the Benedictus alone sends me into raptures and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I just love it.
Kendal Choral Society, together with the Linden Singers, from Lancashire, present The Armed Man - A Mass for Peace for the first time at Kendal Parish Church, on Saturday, May 24 (7.30pm).
Soprano soloist will be Tracie Penwarden, and organ, piano and an accomplished ensemble of instrumentalists will accompany the work.
The exciting piece, which is fast becoming a favourite with audiences and choral societies, was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum with radio station Classic FM for the Millennium (2000) and takes the 15th Century French song L'Homme Arme as its starting point.
Massive in scope and scale, The Armed Man is a profoundly moving but accessible work, which reflects on the most war-torn and destructive century in human history and looks ahead with hope to a new and more peaceful Millennium.
The Mass is dedicated by Karl Jenkins to the victims of the Kosovo crisis.
Composer Karl was born in Swansea in 1944. It was in jazz that he initially made his mark, a prolific poll-winner, playing at London's Ronnie Scott's club before co-forming Nucleus, which landed first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
He was also a member of Soft Machine, a somewhat avant garde rock and jazz fusion band, an influential outfit co-founded by drummer Robert Wyatt in the 1970s.
For the record, guitarist Andy Summers, who went on to form The Police, was also in Soft Machine at one time.
Karl subsequently developed a successful career in composition, penning award-winning film scores as well as classically inspired pieces, which have landed him gold and platinum awards for record sales.
And he's become one of the world's most successful composers of music to be used in commercials, for companies such as Levi, British Airways, Renault and Pepsi.
He has recently completed the violin concerto Sarykyz for Lakeland favourite and internationally-acclaimed virtuoso violinist Marat Bisengaliev.
I'm told it is the second major piece he has written for Marat, who, by the way, plays with the Westmorland Orchestra tomorrow night (Saturday) at Kendal's Westmorland Hall.
Karl has also played a part in the Liverpool European City of Culture programme with a commission for the Liverpool Welsh Choral. His setting of the Te Deum will be premiered with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the city's Philharmonic Hall, on November 30.
In case you had not noticed, Karl also orchestrated, conducted and co-produced Mike Tubular Bells Oldfield's new CD, Music Of The Spheres.
Anyway, returning to the KCS concert, the choir's programme will also feature songs by Palestrina, Mendelssohn, Arensky and Poulenc.
Tracie Penwarden will be in fine voice singing items by Schubert, Franck, Jenkins and Rutter, and the Linden Singers will perform works by Bruckner and Brahms as well as spirituals arranged by their conductor Peter Young. A truly inspirational evening of music is in prospect.
Tickets cost £10/ concessions £9 / under-16s free and are available at the door or by telephoning 015394-31025.