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268 Reviews
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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Thought Provoking
On hearing the beautiful and peaceful Benedictus on the radio I had to find a recording on CD for a more intimate listening. I was not disappointed by the emotional and thought provoking mass for peace - 'The Armed Man'. An incredible recipe of ancient and modern styles of music, composed skilfully by Karl Jenkins. And what a variety of texture from the Moslem Call to...
Published on 20 May 2003 by B. M. Rockey

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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Armed Man- a Mass for Peace
Oh dear dear me. What a dreadfully elitist world some of these reviewers live in. As a very experienced piano teacher, performer and music specialist of mainly Baroque forms, I adored this music. Sure, it's not Bach (who is the only composer who could gain 5 stars in my opinion) but as a Middle Eastern resident I have never heard a lovelier call to prayer. The harmonies...
Published on 31 July 2007 by Suzanne M. McKay


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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Thought Provoking, 20 May 2003
By 
B. M. Rockey "Colonel Trumpet Windsock" (Wokingham, Berks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
On hearing the beautiful and peaceful Benedictus on the radio I had to find a recording on CD for a more intimate listening. I was not disappointed by the emotional and thought provoking mass for peace - 'The Armed Man'. An incredible recipe of ancient and modern styles of music, composed skilfully by Karl Jenkins. And what a variety of texture from the Moslem Call to Prayers, to the stirring Sanctus; from the peaceful opening strings of Benedictus to the dramatic film-like sounds of Hymn Before Action. We are reminded of the futility of war during the playing of the Last Post in Charge! This is a powerful CD, and must be added to your collection.
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133 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleakly beautiful with gorgeous moments., 11 Dec. 2002
By 
Full of extraodinary swirls and stabs of orchestral music and beautiful, melodic choirs. This CD takes you on a joruney from the start of war(The Armed Man, with trudging, marching feet, drums and fifes and the poignant - given the current situation - Call To Prayers which is simply the unearthly solo voice of a meuzzin singing the Islamic call to prayer in Arabic), through to sadness and fear at start of battle(Kyrie, Save Me From Bloody Men), heroism and passion(Sanctus, the extraordinary and stirring Hymn Before Action, wonderful words by Rudyard Kipling) and of course, tumbles down into the real tragedy and pain of war(Angry Flames and Torches) and ends with the bitter sorrow of Agnus Dei and Now The Guns Have Stopped. The final, serene and lovely Benedictus(the one track I had heard and fallen in love with before buying the CD which contains the sweetest and most haunting cello I've ever heard) and Better is Peace(medieval, dancey and joyous), is a fitting end. Not for those who are easily depressed, but well worth it for the emotional journey and the beautiful voices.
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100 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mass for Peace at a time of Conflict, 17 Oct. 2002
By 
Mr J Remynse (Winchester, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I first became aware of the sound as I was driving to work. Slow, beautiful and reminiscent of... Of what? I did not know. I had missed the introduction. But I knew there and then I had to have it. As the music reached a crescendo, I knew I was listening to something special and fervently hoped the announcer would tell me what it was. She obliged: I had been listening to the National Youth Choir performing the Benedictus from Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. I ordered it that evening and less than 48 hours later I was able to listen to the entire CD.
From the first track to the last, I was struck by the quality of the recording and the pure sound of the voices: young people creating a sound that many of their elders in better known choirs might aspire to.
As an Australian in the UK, I heard this just days after the Bali bomb explosion in which many of my young countrymen and women died, so this CD immediately took on a meaning and life of its own. I listened to it for hours on the day it arrived - and imagine it will continue to move me to tears for many years to come.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning & moving mix of classical and contemporary music, 13 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This Mass for Peace is all the more moving by it's timely release. The variation in musical styles within the piece is breathtaking, from the haunting Kyrie to the mesmerising Muslim call to prayer right through to the slightly discordant and angry 'Torches'. The lyrics are well chosen to convey the powerful message and the musical settings totally reinforce the conviction of that message. From the punchy, pugnacious start of the Armed Man, through the classic Mass pieces of Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei to the upbeat ending of 'Better is Peace' with its optimistic message of 'Ring in a Thousand Years of Peace'and the final chorale 'God Shall Wipe Away All Tears' , this work is compelling listening and a welcome development of Karl Jenkins' already prolific talent. This is a departure from his Adiemus works, but let's hope it's the first of many. Well worth a listen by any discerning Karl Jenkins fan.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Composition Allied To Magnificent Singing, 13 Sept. 2002
By 
Capt I. McRae "The Ancient Mariner" (Angus, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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Until I bought “The Armed Man” I did not know that Karl Jenkins had also written the “Adiemus” series. A good job too, as these were a little “schmalzy” for my taste, and I might not have bought “The Armed Man”. I first heard a part of it on the radio and I fell for its beauty, and now, having heard it all I am deeply impressed. This is an altogether more serious work than Adiemus. At times stark and redolent of the fear and horror of war as in “Torches”, and at others tearing tears from the eyes with its hanting beauty as in the Agnus Dei. This work spans the depth and breadth of human emotion. The intellectuals and “pseuds” will not like this work, but I doubt the composer will lose any sleep over that. As I see it, this work was not written for them, but for the mass of ordinary men and women who have to bear the brunt of warfare with their lives and those of their loved ones. Warfare dreamed up by those very intellectuals who will never allow themselves to get too close to the horror they have contrived for those they consider as lesser mortals. Karl Jenkins has produced a mighty work. A thoughtful work. A work that not only satisfies my musical taste, but also one which made me think deeply about its meaning, and at times made me weep.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, yet sublime, 12 Sept. 2005
By 
ch0pper "ch0pper" (SOUTHAMPTON, Hampshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Jenkins was commissioned by The Royal Armouries to write this pieve for the Millenium celebration of 2000 so despite the assertions of another reviewer, this was not 'Jenkins attempt to climb on a bandwagon'.
Further, another reviewer seems to equate musical complexity with musical worth. This represents the very worst type of 'musical snobbery'. The fact that a piece is accessible does not mean that it has no worth or value.
And this piece is both accesible and enjoyable. Yes it may not be as comple as Bach or Palestrina, but I suspect that anyone who has a real heart would find themselves swept up by this music.
A very worthwhile additon to anyone's collection. In my humble opinion!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mass for Peace, 10 Oct. 2011
By 
Marcia "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins is a fabulous piece of work. It is a modern piece of classical music and it is a great composition.
The Armed Man is a Mass for peace. The work was composed for the Millenium celebrations as the Royal Armouries Museum moved from London to Leeds. It is effectively an anti war composition and is strongly based upon the Catholic Mass and a French folk song. The composition includes text from other historical and religious sources including the Islamic call to prayer and the Psalms and Revelations from the Bible. Also woven into the piece are words from Rudyard Kipling, and A.L Tennyson as well as a survivor of the Hiroshima Nuclear bomb who had since died from cancer.

The whole composition begins with a representation of marching with added piccolo representing military band flutes. This leads to words from a French folk song "The Armed Man" and passages of reflection before calling for prayer and Gods help. The Kyrie is excellent and the Sanctus has a menacing tone. Then there is Kipling;s "hymn before action" and words taken from Jonathan Swift and John Dryden and trumpets and song and fateful climax.
Then there is the still quiet and the "Last post" type of trumpet call as we move to the agnus Dei and reflection. We move to the Benedictus and then hope of peace with words that remind us that peace is better than war with text from the bible.

The orchestra is rich with well delivered and powerful performance. There is great emotion and wonderful passages of melody, harmony and reflection in the piece. There are some really beautiful parts to the work that are very soothing and peaceful. The composition is powerful and a true modern event of originality.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can The Armed Man be even better?, 2 Nov. 2010
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I have been playing the original CD for 10 years and have always loved it, but now it has been made even better by the addition of film footage on DVD. Appropriately released just before Remembrance Day, the film provides a visual background to the wonderful music - each movement having appropriately selected footage - marching soldiers, different religions at prayer, injured and dying soldiers, death, footage of Hiroshima and 9/11. The background film is not for the faint-hearted, but provides a poignant and very moving reminder of the futility of war - and the joy at its ending.

The tracks have been digitally remastered but musically I do not notice any real difference between this CD and the original - except maybe a touch crisper. My only - very small - criticism is that the beautiful new track, For the Fallen, is not on the DVD which is somewhat irritating. I am a little unsure as to why I need both a CD and a DVD apart from that!

Now what am I going to do with my original CD?
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 18 Jan. 2006
By A Customer
I bought this recording recently when i was asked to sing with a 300 member strong choir and the Countesthorpe and Guthlaxton Colleges concert band ,and i was amazed with the completley different mood of songs included. It was stunning.
From Strong and fast tempo songs to illustrate the act of battle ti the slow and emotional sound of the post-war songs in which you can actually imagine the atmosphere. I am not really into this kind of music but it is definately worth listening too.
I must admit I am so looking forward to singing in this live event and even more so now I have had the pleasure of listening to the great songs.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Armed Man, 30 Jan. 2003
By 
Denise Neville (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins is one of the most interesting modern classical CD's I have heard in a long time.
It is highly atmospheric right from the start and really conjures up the feelings of marching to war as part of an army.
Each track is different but they still connect with each other, each flowing easily towards the next one. Once I start listening to it I find myself getting cross if I am interupted before reaching the end.
The choir is excellent and I understand have received a lot of praise from many professionals in the music industry.
It is so good, I am now buying another copy for my father!!
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