Last night we, The Manchester Chorale, had the good fortune to sing the UK premiere of Karl Jenkins' new work, "The Peacemakers" at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
It was a mammoth sing!
During rehearsals it took me some time to understand and warm to the work, but I think that was because I was singing sections out of order, without orchestration and without knowing the context of the individual movements within the work itself.
Having finally sung it in its entirety I now understand it ....
...... and I love it.
(Of course, it helps that it was very well received and there was a standing ovation from a packed Bridgewater Hall!)
The work is a mixture of texts from peacemakers such as Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Albert Schweitzer, St Francis and Mother Teresa set to unmistakably Jenkins' music. One minute you are hearing the rhythms of Soweto, the next the monastic chants of Tibet and then the infectious timing of a Celtic song. Jenkins' trademark rhythms, harmonies and ethnic percussion are quite evident and enhance the text to perfection.
Karl Jenkins has written another accessible work for our time.
Now that the UK premiere has taken place, it is to be performed around the country with different orchestras and choirs, so catch it if you can.
In the meantime, here's a little introduction to .....
... The Peacemakers