KARL JENKINS: The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace; For the Fallen (In memoriam Alfryn Jenkins) – Soloists/John S. Davies Singer/Orch. of Welsh Nat. Opera/Karl Jenkins – S4C-Opus/EMI Classics DVD + CD Special Edition 2 17296 2 *****:
We already reviewed this 2004 musical event in 2005 on CD; and on DVD.
Now EMI has seen fit to combine the original CD of the work’s premiere performance with the video which was previously available. This brings the cost down, and Jenkins’ music and the concept for the lavish musical production are well worth seeing, hearing and publicizing. It is the most-performed current oratorio in the U.K. Why has the U.S. seemingly not even heard of it?
As another reviewer summarized it, Jenkins’s music is fresh without being weird, and familiar with being clichéd. The work is very moving. I could only criticize the lack of subtitles in the DVD (since the chorus is often difficult to understand) and the lack of onscreen titles for each of the many movements of the work. I suppose you could get that from the CD booklet notes, but it would be nice to have in the DVD as well.
— John Sunier