Benedictus - Karl Jenkins


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From The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace

The Armed Man is the name of a Mass by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, subtitled "A Mass for Peace". The piece was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds for the Millennium celebrations and was initially dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis. Like Benjamin Britten's War Requiem before it, it is essentially an anti-war piece. Also like Britten's work, this piece is based on the Christian Mass which he combines with other sources, principally the fifteenth century folk song L'homme armé in the first and last movements.

The text includes words from the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible (e.g. the Psalms and Revelation), the Ordinary of the Mass (e.g. Kyrie Eleison, Sanctus), texts from authors such as Rudyard Kipling and Alfred Lord Tennyson, as well as a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing.

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