The Peacemakers
by Karl Jenkins

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Fantasia on Greensleeves
by Ralph Vaughan Williams

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Nimrod (from "Enigma Variations")
by Sir Edward Elgar

Winter 2013 Concert Notes

Tina Johns Heidrich, Conductor
Joseph Jacovino, Jr., Accompanist
Holy Cross High School Girls Choir, Lyn Nagel, Director
Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra

Sunday March 3, 2013 - 3:00pm
St. Rose of Lima Church, Newtown, Connecticut

- Review - Concert Clips -
Karl Jenkins

Karl Jenkins
b. 1944

The Peacemakers
– Karl Jenkins

‘Music has the capacity to breathe harmony into the soul. The Peacemakers breathes the harmony of peace.’ – Terry Waite CBE

The Peacemakers is dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives during armed conflict: in particular, innocent civilians. When I composed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace for the millennium, it was with the hope of looking forward to a century of peace. Sadly, nothing much has changed.’ – Karl Jenkins CBE

The Peacemakers - Karl Jenkins (b. 1944) is a work extolling peace. One line from Rumi (the 13th-century Persian mystic poet whose words I have set) sums up the ethos of the piece: 'All religions, all this singing one song: Peace be with you'. Many of the 'contributors' are iconic figures that have shaped history, others are less well-known. I have occasionally placed some text in a musical environment that helps identify their origin or culture.

Karl Jenkins with Tina

Karl Jenkins with Tina

Having decided on The Peacemakers as the textual core and title of my new work, the search was on to find messengers of peace. A handful of obvious figures came to mind, figures that have changed the world, such as Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King, followed by such iconic and inspiring people as Mother Teresa and Anne Frank. Having sourced suitable and pithy text from these, the net was cast to find other 'peacemakers'. I had been aware of Albert Schweitzer as a boy, in part because my organist father had recordings of him playing Bach, and I had previously set the Persian mystic poet, Rumi, in my Stabat Mater. I felt I needed something from the Abrahamic religions, so there are words from Christ, the Qur'an, Judaism and St. Seraphim of Sarov (a Russian Orthodox monk), while St. Francis of Assisi is included by association. I also quote from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah in my homage to Martin Luther King, as he did in his 'I Have a Dream' speech. English poets, Shelley and Malory are heard, as is Bah'u'llh, the founder of the Bah' faith. Carol Barratt added further text with the odd sentence from me. Some anonymous traditional text has also been included. I feel privileged that Terry Waite CBE has contributed some wonderful words, especially written for The Peacemakers.

The Peacemakers is dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives during armed conflict: in particular, innocent civilians. When I composed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace for the millennium, it was with the hope of looking forward to a century of peace. Sadly, nothing much has changed.

Karl Jenkins CBE

Ralph Vaughn Williams

Ralph Vaughn Williams
1872 - 1958
(with Foxy)

Fantasia on Greensleeves
– Ralph Vaughan Williams

As a child, Ralph Vaughan Williams played the violin, viola, piano and organ and became deeply interested in composition, which he studied with Gustav Holst and Maurice Ravel among others. In his early thirties he developed a fascination with English folksong and travelled around the countryside transcribing and preserving this music which was often incorporated into his own works.

Greensleeves is found in William Ballet's Lute Book, published in 1580. Vaughan Williams used the tune in his 1929 Shakespearean opera, Sir John in Love, and also included "Lovely Joan", a folk song from his collection. Ralph Greaves (1889-1966) created this arrangement for string orchestra based on the opera.

Sir Edward Elgar

Sir Edward Elgar
1857 - 1934

Nimrod from Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma)
– Sir Edward Elgar

With a father and uncle who ran a music shop, Elgar was surrounded by music. He taught himself to play many instruments as well as the art of composition because there was no money for his musical training. The Enigma Variations brought him the attention that his genius and originality deserved. Dedicated to "my friends pictured within", it includes a basic theme and fourteen variations. The enigma, according to Elgar, is not the identity of the friends, but a hidden theme. There was great speculation about the mystery, but he never revealed his secret.

Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod" is widely regarded as the greatest of the fourteen movements in this remarkable work. Augustus J. Jaeger, a music editor and close friend of Elgar, is the person who is portrayed. Jger means "hunter" in German, and in the Old Testament Nimrod is "a mighty hunter". In England this moving adagio is often heard at memorial services and other solemn occasions. The arrangement for organ is by Kenneth Jennings (b. 1925).