COMPOSERS: Karl Jenkins
ALBUM TITLE: Karl Jenkins
PERFORMER: Sam Landman (treble), Nicole Tibbels (singer); Serendipity, Côr Caerdydd & Cytgan, West Kazakhstan PO/Karl Jenkins
CATALOGUE NO: 557 9662
A curate’s egg of sorts, in that while much of this music is dull there are nuggets of passable stuff lurking within it. For the most part, the grainily recorded Requiem sees Jenkins operating in a peculiar territory that lies somewhere between those of Vangelis and John Rutter, or perhaps those of John Adams and Basil Poledouris, or perhaps all four. Unfortunately, given the composer’s penchant for overstated, simplistic gestures there’s much less actually going on here than in the work of any of the above. The good bits? The ‘Pie Jesu’, with its uplifting female vocal lead, and Clive Bell’s performance on the shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese bamboo flute) which features in the interpolated haiku sections.
The second work, commissioned to mark the opening of the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, is similarly lumpen despite the efforts of the soloists but is sonically better. Overall, though, this disc is simply unrewarding. Roger Thomas