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Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man, 2001

karl jenkins - the armed manRecently my father in law mentioned he bought an album based on a song he heard on the radio. He thought I would like it as well so played me the disk. It turned out to be a classical piece by Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man. Subtitle ” a mass for peace” .  The subtitle gives it away I guess. It is a mass, but nog in a strict sense. Songs include a Kyrie, a Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Benedictus as well as several other pieces  of music. Used Languages in the singing are Latin, French, Arabic, English, etc..

He asked me if I would be so kind as to translate the story behind it. I did and thought it was a worthwhile cause. There can never be to much peace in this world, or?
The first minute of the music did not do much for me, some marching drums? Right, heard it before…. He just smiled and said ” wait for the Sanctus”.  And I must confess: that hit me hard. What a great use of harmonics, what a tension. Absolutely stunning and very inspirational.

Despite the rest of the album not being as instant as the Sanctus, I think this is a truly beautiful album with a great message. Highly recommended, even if you´re not religious. Just to make sure, this is a classical piece of work, so no guitar solo´s or hard hitting drums. But worthwhile for any serious music lover. The singing sometimes reminded me of Carl Orff´s Carmina Burana, but all in all, this work has it´s own character. Give it a try!

Personal Playtip: Sanctus, Hymn before Action, Agnus Dei

Site: http://www.karljenkins.com/index.php

2 Responses to Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man, 2001

  • Got to learn this music from a school performance, then learned that Karl Jenkins used to play with the Soft Machine. Great accessible music, The Armed Man being a medieval/renaissance song about the archetypal soldier, the exact opposite of the “blessed he ho cometh in the name of the Lord”, the armed man brings misery and grief.
    If you like the Sanctus, then listen to Beethoven’s Sanctus in the Missa Solemnis. it will blow you away!