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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 26 May 2005
Until a year ago I never ventured further than the music of John Rutter. Perchance I heard a track on a promo CD taken from Jenkins' The Armed Man. The music just seemed to capture me and not let me go. So, now to the Requiem. I am listening to it as I write. I have just ordered the SATB score. Does that say enough? This music is simply giving me goosebumps. I cannot explain why. The music seems to pick me up and carry me away. The haikus are so refreshing. This is a requiem fit for someone whom you deeply love and will sorely miss.
The music is modern but not so modern that it will age rapidly. In fact I would hope to hear it still be played if I should return to this world in 200 years'time. Along with Schütz, Bach, Rutter etc.
I am probably not being very clear in what I write. As a choral singer I can only say that music either moves me or it does not. This has moved me!! Give it a chance. Open up to serious modern music from a composer who dares to interpret the requiem in his own way. Jenkins' father must have been a great man to deserve such an in memoriam!
"In these Stones Horizons Sing" is so invigorating! Pity the CD has to end....
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on 20 May 2005
The harp solo in the "In Paradisum" track is the most beautiful harp soloI have ever heard in my life. It was the initial reason that I purchased the album. I have admired Carl Jenkins work for a long time but have never been a big fan of Requiems.
This Requiem, however, is something completely different. From the opening Introit & Kyrie through the Lacrimosa, Pie Jesu and Lux Aeterna, this album if full of spine tingling vocals and passionate instrumentals. The Dies Irae is like no piece of Requiem music you have ever heard - possibly comparable to Orff's Carmina Burana. This is a sheer joy to listen to wherever you are- in the bath or in the car. In Paradisum literally brings me to tears - it is so beautiful. If you love passion filled music go out and buy this one.
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on 2 June 2005
This is a truly moving experience, beautifully recorded. Read the text for each piece of music , these poems for departed souls are heart breakingly moving so that by the time you get to PIE JESU I'm sure you will get pretty choked-up. Karl Jenkins is a bold composer with no ego to grind, a humble man, this new work is real joy. A nice booklet goes with this c.d. with notes by the composer. This for me is the c.d. of 2005...for those who have lost a loved-one this music will give great comfort... spiritually uplifting. A 'must buy'.
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on 5 April 2005
This CD is fantastic.
The music and vocals are a pleasure to listen to. I have listened to it when relaxing in bed but it is equally enjoyable when driving in the car. There is not one track that I don't like but my favouite ones are track 1, 17 & 18.
This type of music should appeal to any one and I am about to buy another two copies- one for my mother age 80 and one for my daughter age 20. Those who enjoyed his previous work - The Armed Man - will love this and I think it will appeal to those who also enjoy the work of John Rutter.
Thank you Carl for bringing us such magical music
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on 16 March 2006
At least a beatiful contemporary requiem,without unuseful dissonances or heart anguish for listeners!
Here I find sorrow,crying souls,deep sadness...but everything is noble and direct to everybody's heart! I remember Jenkins as Soft Machine's keyboardist...then Adiemus (great first and third albums!)..now a good modern composer,with a great harmonic knowledge and a superb sense of measure! Really great and moving...I'm a chorus master...how would I like to teach music like this to my chorus! Thanks,Karl!!
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on 15 April 2005
How can anyone even attempt to describe this triumph of New Age style combined with an orthodox view of what a requiem! Jenkins' ground breaking ways to merge his style with a requiem is superb, this is particularly illustrated in track 2: Dies Irae, which has and I quote, 'a hip-hop rhythm.'
Once again Jenkins has tried to combine Western and Eastern influences into this piece with much success. The so called 'death songs/ poems' (Japanese Haiku- poems with three lines of syllabuls 5-7-5 respectively) add that extra ineffable quality just as the French and Islam influences did in the Armed Man.
Any person who has even a small interest in, dare I say... Classical Music will have no choice but to find this work extra-ordinary and enjoyable. If you liked 'The Armed Man' then you have to like this.
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on 22 March 2005
As a fan of Karl Jenkins this is a long awaited work - I listened to it on Classic FM on March 21st,2005 and thought it brilliant. If you liked the Mass for Peace this is the one for you.
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This disc was a birthday present from a friend. I'll leave aside the issue of what kind of friend purchases a requiem for a birthday present, but I think it's important to say that I had not consciously listened to any of Karl Jenkins's music before I was given this CD. I understand that there is a kind of snobbery concerning the popular Jenkins - the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music briskly moves non-stop from the seventeenth-century cavalier composer John Jenkins to US conductor Newell Jenkins - so there may be something in this, but listening to this CD made it clear that Karl Jenkins certainly has talent. Perhaps it is the self-promotional aspect of his activities that rubs people up the wrong way. For instance, on the informative sleeve-notes I learned that Mr Jenkins has 28 letters after his name and that I could purchase the score of this music.

His Requiem lasts 54 minutes and is impossible not to like. It is technically accomplished, eclectic in form (he has incorporated five Japanese haiku poems), but quite easy on the ear. Some might consider it shallow, and I could not vigorously argue against that judgement.

In place it often has the feel of Fauré's Requiem. This is certainly true in the Introit, which has a light touch, but where the choir unfortunately tends to drown the orchestra. There is an effective use of a five-note theme that periodically re-appears on horn. The Dies Irae is thunderously rhythmic, reminding me of "Mask" by Vangelis. The Rex Tremendae is also impressive, but it was at this point that I noted the lack of polyphony: themes are never developed, riffs are merely repeated. This contributes to the lack of depth referred to earlier. (No wonder he's won awards for advertising jingles and tunes.)

Moving onto the Confutatis, I thought I had tuned into an edition of "Sing Something Simple". The pleasant Lacrimosa again reminds me of Fauré, as does the later Lux Aeterna and the final In Paradisum. The Pie Jesu is one of the best I've ever heard. Repeated three times, it is beautiful and perfectly arranged.

The haiku poems fit surprisingly well into the structure, providing welcome respite into a different calmer world. They appear to be written and performed on a deeper level with more counterpoint in the arrangements and with a subtle shimmering orchestration. That called `Having Seen The Moon' is imaginatively and skilfully combined with the Benedictus, as is `Farewell' with the Agnus Dei.

The second piece on this CD is a sixteen-minute song-cycle called "In These Stones Horizons Sing", commissioned for the opening of the Welsh Millennium Centre. In the round, the cycle almost has the feel of a musical, especially the second part of the first of the four songs. The songs themselves tend to be monothematic and lacking in depth but are impressive nonetheless. There is effective use of sustained chords, but the repetitive singing of the title of the song-cycle tends to grate after awhile, making the theme banal. I would have played the CD again to count exactly how many times the words are sung, but I could not bear to do it. It is welcome to hear the words precisely sung though, and Bryn Terfel is in fine voice. It is good to see also that the soprano, harpist, and saxophonist are credited.

After listening four times to this CD, will I buy more Jenkins? Perhaps not: on the strength of this CD, I found that the music does not sustain interest after many plays. It is an interesting CD, though, and I will keep it in the collection for use at future wakes and millennial openings.
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on 20 December 2015
Love this, and learnt to sing this with my Daughters' school choir when 'Family and Friends' are asked to join the choir. I was hoping to be sitting with my Daughter as it was her final year, but she ended up in the orchestra! It's a powerful but very moving piece of music that Karl Jenkins wrote to be played at his Fathers Funeral. I also want 'In Paradissium' sung at my own funeral. Wonderful.
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on 23 June 2016
How lucky we are to have John Rutter and Karl Jenkins alive and bringing us such great music in our time. Is it classical or modern - who cares - it is heard on Classic FM and somehow crosses over the boundaries. Perhaps it is the tunefulness of Jenkins work and the great language but I predict that it will be played in centuries to come. Worth buying for "In Paradisum" alone (and then there is "Grey").
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