O2 Guildhall Southampton
Southampton Philharmonic Choir
Southampton University Philharmonic Choir
New London SInfonia
Elinor Jane Moran Soprano
David Gibson Conductor
The Peacemakers is a large-scale classical work for soprano soloist, chorus, children’s choir and orchestra and was composed in 2011. Jenkins had composed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace in a spirit of hopefulness at the turn of the millennium, but by 2011 he had come to the conclsuion that not much had changed, and so he embarked upon this sequel – a heartfelt plea for world peace and stability. The text includes quotations from a wide range of world figures including Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, Terry Waite, Mother Teresa, St Francis of Assisi, Anne Frank and Nelson Mandela, amongst others.
The music is classical and very approachable, with world music and jazz influences. As with so many great musical experiences, the cumulative effect is far greater than the sum of its parts. Jenkins uses ethnic percussion and wind instruments, a solo (improvised) soprano saxophone and a prominent part for fretless 5-string electric bass. Together with the two choirs, wonderful percussion writing and instrumental detail, The Peacemakers makes an international statement of epic proportions. What impresses the listener is the huge variety of styles, textures and musical material that Jenkins has managed to weave together into a coherent and emotional tour de force that produces a profound impact on the audience. Many of the individual movements have been hailed as some of the best and most memorable music that Karl Jenkins has ever produced, and this work is rapidly becoming as popular and well-known as The Armed Man.
The programme also includes Jenkins' composition for string orchestra, Palladio, written in 1995 and Will Todd's No more sorrow, written for chorus, strings, piano and harp in 2014.
Jenkins' inspiration was the 16th-century architect, Andrea Palladio, and his intention was to create a reflection in musical form of the mathematical harmony and order of Palladio's architecture. The first movement, in particular, may be familiar to listeners, as it was used as the soundtrack to a TV commercial in the early 1990s.
Todd's gentle and lyrical No more sorrow is a setting of words from the biblical Book of Revelation:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
And there shall be no more death,
Neither sorrow nor crying,
Neither any more pain,
For the former things are passed away.
Tickets: £13.05, £19.65, £25.15*. Concessions are available. Tickets on sale on 2 September 2019.
*As part of the overall cost of your booking, O2 Guildhall Southampton have introduced a £1.50 per ticket restoration levy to help maintain and improve the facilities for customers, artists and promoters. Tickets are also subject to a booking fee (also included in the above price), and this applies to all sales through the Box Office and online, regardless of the method of payment.