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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2007
This CD features Andrew Wainwright's and Duncan Gibbs' transcription of Karl Jenkins' immensely popular work, and all proceeds from the CD will go to Brass Band Aid charity, which through World Vision is helping to build a school in Ethiopia. Following on from Cory Band's celebrated 'This Land of Ours', which has hit the headlines recently, this CD features a full brass band, which along with organ accompanies a specially formed choir for the recording.

Whilst the music is essentially the same as the original, the brass band and organ provide a different sound world to the orchestra, which is by no means less effective. In fact the extra edge and body of sound provided by the band at times enhances the work and adds to the excitement and intensity. The beautiful lyrical playing of International Euphonium Player of the Year, David Childs in the Benedictus is a particular highlight on a recording that contains some truly awe-inspiring moments, as is the epic sound of the brass in the Hymn Before Action, and the singing of The International Staff Songsters in the poignant benediction, a track which was specially donated to the project.

Whilst the singing of the composite choir is at times slightly erratic, this adds a more human aspect to the recording, and in any case is more than made up for by the outstanding band, which was specially invited for the occasion and reads as a who's who of brass talent from across the world.

The musicians are ably directed throughout by the guiding hand of Howard J Evans, and he has moulded a performance which by all accounts is thoroughly enjoyable to listen to and highly recommended by this reviewer.
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on 25 July 2011
I bought this album after hearing it on the radio. When I heard "Benedictus," I literally stopped dead in my tracks, I was so moved by the haunting, simple beauty of the opening and the melodic passion of the climax. Some of the other movements are rather unusual, as they tell the story of (surprise!) a man arming himself for battle. For example, in one movement people scream to simulate a battle, and in another a muezzin calls people to prayer. So some rather unconventional elements in a few places. But overall, I think the mass tells a remarkably complex, coherent story with which anyone can connect. And after having spent some time in the Balkans, this album really reflects, I think, the spirit of the Kosovo conflict that inspired it.
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on 23 February 2011
We heard tracks from this album on Classic FM and so we knew it was our cup of tea. A quick flick through the previews convinced us to purchase the whole album and we are so glad we did - it is an excellent example of contemporay classical music and extremely easy listening. Want something to chill to and drift off to ... you could do a lot worse than The Armed Man

The whole process of buying and downloading the album was really easy and the Downloader ensures you get your music where you want it and ready to go. Will be using the Dl option again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2009
I first heard this on the BBC as the lead in to the 2 mins silence 11/11, I was really moved and congratulate the producer on their choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2009
The Armed Man set to a brass band is absolutely tremendous. Occasionally it might overpower the singing, but a great listening experience.
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on 19 May 2013
You would never have guessed this but I first heard it in the warmijng down session of my local aerobics class. So I had to ask the teacher what it was and by whom. It is sublime. I probably had heard of him but didn't realise he is a fellow Welshman and a superb composer.
Buy this to feel at peace - best listened to loudly by yourself.
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on 14 March 2014
It's an excellent recording of a very moving miscellany of themed pieces by Karl Jenkins with the message that it's better to have peace than war.

I have had the privilege of singing this work and every time I hear it's strains I am drawn into the broad spell being created by this talented composer..
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on 29 May 2014
I downloaded this because I am going to be singing in a scratch performance of the choral suite on Saturday. I am familiar with a couple of movements from casual listening to Classic FM. It is a powerful piece - the choruses are very accessible with gorgeous rhythms and melodies.
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on 7 June 2013
What can I say except that this is Karl at his very best. The way he combines different styles of music is incredible, in this one we have the muslim call to prayer which is delicately placed in the Mass. Beautiful music by our greatest living composer.
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on 28 December 2011
Although a modern classical piece, this music I find in places stirring, in places relaxing and in some a little difficult to understand. I love the Agnus Dei and the Benedictus - to sound totally naff both these uplift my soul.
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