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Karl Jenkins – the album “Symphonic Adiemus” at CD Review, 14-15 December
Karl Jenkins is one of the most notorious composers nowadays, his works being constantly performed worldwide. Born in 1944, the Welsh composer's works are appreciated for their authentic signature, in which classical music and world music style are joined together. To make you sure of his notoriety, I tell you that his most popular work, "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace" composed in 1999 has been performed for over 1500 times in 20 different countries in the last 18 years and after its releasing, the composer has received 17 gold and platinum records. In the autumn of this year, Karl Jenkins signed a contract with Decca label for a recording project which opens with the album "Symphonic Adiemus". The record release took place on 29 September, the same day when the songs on the album were performed in world premiere at Royal Festival Hall in London. The record joins some of the best known composer's choral pieces from the series "Adiemus". It's about an original sound defined by harmonic range diversity, a positive and relaxing music which Karl Jenkins has been offering us in the last 20 years on his best-selling albums. The crossover project "Adiemus" was presented by Karl Jenkins as a conductor on scenes in Japan, Germany, Spain, Finland, Holland and Belgium, being a resounding success.
On the last record, the composer reprises some of the songs and gives them a new form, with a considerable dynamic improved sound: the vocal groups become wide choral societies backed up for the first time by an orchestra. This record sounds original and fresh and what makes it new is the combination between classical music and African influences, gospel and Celtic music elements. In the slow pieces like Tintinabulum - part 1, The Choral or Zarabanda, strange dissonant sounds are perceived in contrast with classic harmonic structures from the sound functional system. Regarding the rhythms' choice, the composer avoids the well-known binary and ternary signatures, choosing a free signature without any fixed structures, while the ending song "Song of the plains" is in a fast tempo with combined structures, going into the tribal rhythm area. Alternately, in unison or harmonized performances abound in chromatic intervals and modulations, completing the expressive and strong sound. About the new album, Karl Jenkins says: "Since 1995, when "Adiemus" appeared for the first time in a unique combination of classical and traditional music elements, I have been overwhelm with requests for a new Adiemus which, for the first time, has been written for mixed chorus. The idea to orchestrate some of my old pieces led to a new beginning to write massive, symphonic sounds". Indeed, like Karl Jenkins says, the proportions of this new sound structure are spectacular. The orchestra is extended to more than 100 musicians, 20 types of percussion instruments and 180 chorus singers. The recordings were made by The Philharmonic Chorus in London and by The European Symphonic Orchestra Adiemus. Under Karl Jenkins' conducting, the players lead us in a fantastic, imaginative, dynamic and fresh world of sounds.
I hope you find it very interesting because on 14 and 15 December I recommend you to listen to some premiere performances at Radio România Muzical from the album "Symphonic Adiemus" during "CD Review" section.
Translated by Costache Alexandra Iuliana,
MTTLC 1st year University of Bucharest