The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present Soul & Spirit: Karl Jenkins’ Sacred Songsfor chorus and orchestra. This new uniquely powerful and emotional composition has been described as amazing, haunting music. Karl Jenkins is a rarity among contemporary composers, able to balance popularity with innovation. That’s why he is the most performed living composer in the world today (Arts Desk Global Survey) and live concerts of his robust works are such a delight to hear, especially with orchestral accompaniment. His music connects with people, it touches them.
The performance will be held on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 3 p.m.
Jenkins made his mark in the world as a media composer writing commercial music for Levi’s, British Airways, Renault, Tag Heuer, Pepsi as well as US/global campaigns for De Beers and Delta Airlines. For Delta he wrote the famous song Adiemus that accompanied the jet in flight. After this period, his return to the music mainstream was initially marked by the success of the Adiemus project. Adiemus combined the ‘classical’ with ethnic vocal sounds and percussion with an invented language and topped classical and ‘pop’ charts around the world. His Armed Man: A Mass For Peace alone has been performed nearly 1000 times in 20 different countries since the CD was released while his recorded output has resulted in seventeen gold and platinum disc awards.
“I adore Karl’s compositions. From this quiet, gentle human being, comes the most amazing, haunting music, that is instantly recognizable, and loved across the world.” – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
My Take on Karl Jenkins
Jenkins is my kind of composer. His compositions are unstinting in employing the extremes of musical sounds. Fortissimo. Pianissimo. Allegro and adagio. Like Prokofiev, he excels in creating visceral film music. Prokofiev composed the scores for Sergei Eisenstein’s films Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible. You didn’t have to watch Nevsky to feel the mounted soldiers and their “Battle on the Ice.”
Years ago I had a a running dialogue with the articulate Boston Globe critic Michael Steinberg (usually over coffee or lunch) during the time we both toiled at the Boston Symphony Orchestra – he wrote the program notes, I did the promotion. I called Alexander Nevsky a brilliant classical work, he thought it simply a film score.
Similar skirmishes took place when discussing the output of John Williams and Erich Korngold. My point still is that music, when accompanied by film, can be twice as powerful an experience as listening to the score alone. Whether sitting in a concert hall and creating a story in your head to go with the music you are hearing, or watching a film in which the story is dramatized by the musical score, both are experiences well worth having.
Karl Jenkins is a composer of this sort. With the Cantilena Chamber Choir and Orchestral players, there won’t be any dull spots in this concert. And speaking of Russian films and composers, there’s a bonus on the program, some new Russian compositions.
Русская хоровая музыка
In keeping with its tradition of presenting monuments of Russian choral music, the Choir will also perform several signature a cappella works in Russian, including the American premiere of a new work by Siberian composer Valery Kalistratov. The program will also feature American Spirituals with guest artists the Mt. Everett High School Choir – winners of the 2011 Lenox Caroling Festivals first prize.
About the Tickets
All tickets are $25 and children are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance through the Choir’s website www.cantilenachoir.org. Reservations: 413-637-2440 or email@example.com. Trinity Church is located at 88 Walker Street in Lenox.
About the Cantilena Chamber Choir
Now in its eighth season, the Cantilena Chamber Choir is the Berkshire region’s leading a cappella group. For the past three seasons it was heard on a special WMHT Christmas Eve radio broadcast of Lessons and Carols recorded at Trinity Church in Lenox. The Choir has collaborated with the New England Baroque Soloists, Aston Magna and The Empire Brass. Past season highlights include a program of Shaker songs performed for the Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary gala; a concert of works by Shostakovich; an all-Berkshire composer concert; programs for children; and special benefits for the Lenox Library and the Berkshire Immigrant Center. Most recently the Choir appeared in a special presentation produced by WGBY TV in Springfield called “Together in Song,” a celebration of choral singing in Western New England. The Choir is a 2011 recipient of Choral Arts New England’s Alfred Nash Patterson award for its most recent concert “Music in the Berkshire Museum.”
About Andrea Goodman
The Cantilena Chamber Choir is under the artistic direction of Andrea Goodman who is also the Director of the Northern Berkshire Chorale in Williamstown and the Saratoga Choral Festival, an annual summer concert series for chorus and orchestra in Saratoga Springs, New York. She has been a visiting professor of conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music where she also directed the women’s choir.
She has prepared choirs for the Philadelphia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, and has previously served as Director of the Concord Chorus (MA), Director of Choirs at Skidmore College and New York University. Her guest appearances have included the Aspen (Colo.) Music Festival, the Festival de Musique Sacree in Fribourg, Switzerland, the Festival of White Nights and the 2011 Singing World Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dr. Goodman holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting.
About Karl Jenkins
Jenkins was born and raised in the Gower village of Penclawdd, in the county of Swansea, South Wales. His father, who was a local schoolteacher, chapel organist and choirmaster, gave him his initial musical instruction. Karl Jenkins attended Gowerton Grammar School.
Jenkins began his musical career as an oboist in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. He went on to study music at Cardiff University, and then commenced postgraduate studies in London at the Royal Academy of Music, where he also met his wife and musical collaborator, Carol Barratt.
He may have begun his early career as a jazz and jazz-rock musician, playing baritone and soprano saxophones, keyboards and oboe, an unusual instrument in a jazz context. He joined jazz composer Graham Collier’s group and later co-founded the jazz-rock group Nucleus, which won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970.
He then began to write a good deal of advertising music, twice winning the industry prize in that field.
As a composer, his breakthrough came with the crossover project Adiemus. The Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary (1995) album topped the classical album charts. It spawned a series of successors, each revolving around a central theme.
He is unusual for a classical composer, never having lost his ability to write music with immense theatricality and about topics people an connect with. Jenkins’ latest choral work The Peacemakers, features texts from Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa, as well as words from the Bible and the Qur’an with some new text specially written by Terry Waite.