'Benedictus' by Karl Jenkins from The Armed Man A Mass for Peace
This is a recent discovery which immediately moved yet calmed me. - very relaxing!
Karl Jenkins was born and grew up on the Gower Peninsula, the son of a local organist and choirmaster. He studied music at Cardiff University and then at the Royal Academy of Music. Originally an oboist, he took to the saxophone and established himself early on as a jazz musician. He then introduced the oboe as a jazz instrument.
As a composer he manages to combine very different styles of music from classical to pop and to draw on different cultures from around the globe.
The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace was commissioned by the Royal Armouries to mark the transition from one millennium to another. It reflects on the passing of ‘the most war-torn and destructive century in human history’ and looks forward in hope to a more peaceful future. The Armed Man is dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo conflict, whose tragedy was unfolding as it was being composed. It was first performed in 2000 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, conducted by Jenkins himself.
This movement is introduced by a serenely beautiful cello solo. The tune is taken up by the choir to words from the Latin Mass: ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord’. Peace leads to rejoicing but after an explosive Hosanna the mood of serenity returns. (Notes by Stuart Brown)