Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Peacemakers UK Premiere


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!

We only had four rehearsals before yesterday's performance (all without the orchestra) which isn't a great amount for a 75 minute work which is almost entirely choral (only the intermezzo was without voices) so it was a tough job, but we rose to the challenge.  Karl Jenkins himself conducted the concert and I think we managed to do what he wanted; he seemed happy enough.

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


Relax Max said...

What an amazing idea and project this is! I really enjoyed the video sample.

libby said...

Wow indeed! how must be so thrilled....tired but thrilled...well done.

Polly said...

Such a thoughtful and composed idea. How wonderful. And doubly wonderful that you were able to be involved in it also.

Claire said...

Always great and a thrill to be involved with a piece of music at the beginning of it's journey to peoples ears!

xxx Hannah xxx said...

Love that little taster, going to have to listen to it all now... What an amazing project to be a part of!

Anonymous said...

Excellent work! My mum goes to Bridgewater Hall regularly so see concerts and loves it.

CJ x