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Karl Jenkins - This Land Of Ours (2007)

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Karl Jenkins - This Land Of Ours (2007)

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1 	Cantilena: Ysbryd y Mynyddoedd (Spirit Of The Mountain)	3:29
2 	Cysga Di	2:56
3 	Delilah	2:26
4 	Abide With Me	2:43
5 	Suo Gan	3:23
6 	Danny Boy	4:16
7 	Son Of Maria	3:03
8 	Pie Jesu (From Requiem)	4:34
9 	Hyfrydol	3:38
10 	Evening Prayer	3:46
11 	In These Stones Horizons Sing	4:22
12 	Flower Duet	1:41
13 	Myfanwy	4:16
14 	Agnus Dei (From The Armed Man)	3:39
15 	Benedictus (From The Armed Man)	7:38
16 	Lle Cana'r Eryrod (Where Eagles Sing)

Brass Band – Cory Band
Choir – Cantorion
Conductor – Karl Jenkins
Conductor [Cantorion: Musical Director] – Tim Rhys-Evans
Conductor [Cory Band: Musical Director] – Robert Childs
Soloist, Euphonium – David Childs
Vocals - Only Men Aloud

 

Tracks on the album ‘This Land Of Ours’ are all special arrangements by Karl Jenkins and range from classical favourites and choral classics to traditional Welsh tunes and pop standards - all performed in that unique brass band style. ---prestomusic.com

 

This wonderful recording grabbed me at the first note and excepting for one track ("Delilah", whose inclusion I did and do fail to understand). I was in turn moved to tears, exalted, enchanted and in all, delighted by this recording. Given the nationality of the composer, it's not surprising that the land referred to in the title is Wales. The original songs by Karl Jenkens, performed in Welsh are gorgeous, showing a genuine affection for the music, and musicians of his homeland. The all male group, Cantorion are splendid. Some all-male (and-all female choruses, for that matter) can bring a sameness to their performances, but not Cantorion. The blend is awesome and the range of color of which this group is capable is nothing less than astounding. And as far as the instrumental ensemble, Cory Band, is concerned, the review who opined that this was 'not a good recording for them' must have been listening to something else entirely. First of all, the combination of male chorus and band is an ancient and honorable one in Wales. Also, the performances here are nothing short of awesome -- in every sense of the word. The final selection ends with an extended cadenza for the band that absolutely takes my breath away every time I listen to it. And every time I play it on my radio program, "Sunday Evening Songfest" (on WMNR Fine Arts Radio -- wmnr.org) I get calls from listeners who love what they hear and can't wait to get this recording. ---Annie Schwaikert, amazon.com

 

It seems slightly unfair to label this as a 'Karl Jenkins' album, as the performers here are the multi-award-winning brassists Cory Band and male voice choir Cantorion. Of course, fellow Welshman Jenkins is the arranger and producer of the material included on this EMI Classics debut, and it's his name that looms largest on the cover.

Jenkins' powerful use of surging vocal arrangements infused with drama, and the sprinkling of modern touches into classical structures is here in abundance - it's a Jenkins work and no mistake.

The inclusion of the Cory Band generates a clean, brass sound and an almost-Christmassy atmosphere.

Some lesser-known Welsh-language pieces such as Cysga Di (Go To Sleep) vie with age-old favourites (Delilah, Abide With Me, Pie Jesu) but Jenkins' skill comes in its own, allowing each to breathe; not one piece overwhelms another.

He's on top form with this interperative collection, aided by some of the UK's very best musical and vocal performers. ---James McLaren, bbc.co.uk

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