Karl Jenkins' Requiem
One of my favorite modern composers, and there are not many, is Karl Jenkins. Today I am recommending his Requiem. Check out the Requiem by listening to clips on the Amazon site to see if his work is a good fit for your listening tastes. I find the Requiem filled with many rich sounds. Below are two reviews I pulled off Amazon as these writers express my reaction to this composition much better than I am able.
"Jenkins' Requiem is without question a modern work, although its mold is probably a bit closer to that of Britten's War Requiem, or even Herbert Howells' "Hymnus Paradisi", than to other modern Requiems, such as those of Fauré, Duruflé, or Rutter. Jenkins' use of haikus in Japanese–and his intertwining of the haikus with the text near the end–add an extra dimension to the work, even though those movements have a substantially different sound than the rest of the work. Even the "Dies Irae," with its unusual orchestration (I won't spoil the surprise), is a success. The fact that there are no well-known names here doesn't matter; the orchestral and choral sounds are both excellent. Fans of Jenkins' music will definitely want this disc. I look forward to hearing more of his music myself. "
"I guess you could call me a "number one" fan of Karl Jenkins music. I find his music uplifting and soul-stirring. After a few listenings to Requiem, I quickly found so much to enjoy out of the variety of tracks. For consumers that are only aware of Diamond Music, Jenkins has composed a whole collection of works, five to be exact, that are under the Adiemus title. You must, I repeat, must expand your collection to include some if not all of these titles, particularly Adiemus I, II & IV. These are such emotionally charged works, fashioned with a chorus of female singers and soloists and full orchestra. Do a quick search and you'll learn more about this themed works. But I digress….
Requiem is unique in that the composer uses a full chorus including male voices and a baritone soloist in the short work, "In These Stones…" This is the first time I'm aware that Jenkins embraces the SATB structure. What an exceptional inclusion to his body of works! I've picked out a few favorites including Introit, Dies Irae, and In Paradisum. However, Pie Jesu shines as a gorgeous heart felt work that effortlessly soars between child soloist, soprano soloist and chorus. Guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes. Finally, the short work that closes this CD, "In These Stones Horizons Sing", calls to mind Ralph Vaughn Williams and a touch of Glass. As a singer in many choruses, I found myself itching to bring this short piece to the attention of various choral directors. It conveys such a powerful quality, visions of Celtic settings arise in my mind. If you are a choral singer, I assure you, you will find something to inspire you. Enjoy Requiem and look into Jenkins other works as well. You won't be sorry."
Photograph: Pompeii, Italy