The Best Modern Symphonic/Choral Composition I Have Heard
Patrick Rossiter | Auckland | 05/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is an experience not to be missed. Few of us will ever have the opportunity to attend a concert where this piece is performed. The ability to see and hear it on DVD is a gift.
The orchestra is superb, the choir is wonderful, the soloists are perhaps the weakest element (other than the superb cello), but overall this is a performance to move the soul.
Jenkins' composition is magnificent, and the performance is first class.
I am not an easy man to please, but this deserves 5-star rating. I was about to say that it is 5-star entertainment, but I suddenly found myself tripping over the word entertainment - it really isn't entertainment: it is an experience, and one not to be missed.
I now am faced with trying to find an orchestra and choir to perform the piece locally, and am wondering whether I can somehow rent the superb visuals that they used to provide the backdrop. The synchronisation of what are in many cases quite familiar film clips with the tempo and mood of the music is a tour de force in itself.
So from a musical and a technical point of view I rate this a "must have" DVD for everyone."
Hail to Karl J, a Welsh musical Wizard...
Anna K. Suetterlin | US | 02/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Jon Anderson of YES, in my mind, is the ancient bard Taliesin reincarnated, then I think Karl Jenkins is Merlin-with-a-walrus-mustache, advising us towards nonviolence with his "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace." Now all Jenkins needs is a long beard and a starry robe. ;-)
I primarily purchased this DVD because of one track, "Benedictus," whose melody appears as the title track for ADIEMUS' "The Eternal Knot" album, plus I had heard the "Benedictus" track on NPR, from the "Mass for Peace" and I thought, "OMG, I've gotta get this in my collection."
Well, it arrived two days after I ordered it. I think they got Mr. McFeely, the 'Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood' "Speedy Delivery" guy, to mail it, because that was the speediest shipping from an independent seller using Amazon I've experienced! Not even an eBay seller could have gotten it to me that quickly!
Anyway, I watched it with my dad, who's fairly unfamiliar with Karl Jenkins' work, other than the ADIEMUS CD I have, and he pronounced it "Good stuff!" which is pretty cool, since he tends to be pretty picky about his classical-style composers.
But as for my reaction, let me put it this way: I was in tears from the get-go, since Karl used such provocative imagery; this isn't just a musical work, it is a powerful documentary on human hubris that would either do Ken Burns credit or give Ken a run for his money.
The people from the British Isles have an ancient bardic history of masterful storytellers. Karl Jenkins is no different, and I highly recommend this potent musical potion from a master musical wizard from Wales.
Let's put him together with Charlotte Church on a collaboration and see what kind of tears we can wring from the human populus! ;-)