Jenkins, Karl

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    #61
    Originally posted by Suffolkcoastal View Post

    You will, as I believe that KJ is COTW sometime in March.
    He's this week, SC. Forgive me for not offering a link, as I have no wish to jeopardise the security of my computer!

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      #62
      Originally posted by smittims View Post
      The danger, of course, is that BBC management go by popularity, so for them this IS classical music. We may get more (and more) of it.
      The more popular the composer, the bigger the draw for new listeners. If it works for CFM ... ? Not sure that I would put Arvo Part in quite the same category (by "I'm not sure" I mean I'm not sure as I'm not familiar with his music). But John Williams, perhaps?
      It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

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        #63
        Originally posted by vinteuil View Post

        ... yes. But now the door is opened - Einaudi, Górecki​, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, 'Sir' James Macmillan, Ola Gjeilo...

        Bring back Semprini Serenade and have done with it...




        .
        Some of those names are 'real' composers whose principal driver is not commercial composition - there are certainly fine pieces by Gorecki and MacMillan (and Part too). Lauridsen and Whitacre are both capable of polished craftsmanship, even if the music itself is second-hand and one piece is pretty much indistinguishable from the next. I'm not familiar enough with Gjeilo's work to comment, but the little I have heard of Einaudi leaves me with no desire to repeat the experience.

        A friend of mine once groaned at the name Karl Jenkins and commented "he gets everywhere...like foot and mouth"... Equally unsavoury too, at least to my ears.

        I used to quite enjoy Semprini Serenade - when I was about 10 years old...

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          #64
          Originally posted by Roslynmuse View Post

          Some of those names are 'real' composers whose principal driver is not commercial composition - there are certainly fine pieces by Gorecki and MacMillan (and Part too). Lauridsen and Whitacre are both capable of polished craftsmanship, even if the music itself is second-hand and one piece is pretty much indistinguishable from the next. I'm not familiar enough with Gjeilo's work to comment, but the little I have heard of Einaudi leaves me with no desire to repeat the experience.

          A friend of mine once groaned at the name Karl Jenkins and commented "he gets everywhere...like foot and mouth"... Equally unsavoury too, at least to my ears.

          I used to quite enjoy Semprini Serenade - when I was about 10 years old...
          All the names listed above are very considerably better composers than Karl Jenkins . Indeed James Macmillan is a very significant modern British composer. Since they’ve been mentioned Arvo Part is another major contemporary talent and in the very demanding and very commercially rewarding field of film music John Williams is peerless. Possibly the greatest of all film composers - maybe Richard Rodney Bennett and Moricone fans might disagree . All in my view Much better than Korngold whose film reputation is overblown - indeed I much prefer his classical work . John Williams is not however the greatest composer who ever wrote a film score Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams , Prokofiev can tussle over that.
          KJ ‘s music to me is almost unlistenable. A stream of uninspired clichés.

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            #65
            A good many years ago I had the misfortune to sing The Armed Man. It went down a storm with the audience, many of whom had come just to hear it, and the choir was asked to do a repeat performance at a later date. I declined, and said that I hoped I never needed to sing it again. Well, I suppose strictly speaking I don't need to sing it again this term, but as it's the short version and I enjoy the other music in the programme, and choir is an important part of my life, I'm doing my best not to let my opinion of the work get in the way too much... concentrate on ticket sale potential instead.
            One of the things that irritated me first time round was that I felt it was badly constructed - cut and paste phrases that didn't join up properly. There also didn't seem to be that much original material - I was getting distracted trying to identify where many of the bits had perhaps first come from - and the constant repetition of sparse material palled pretty quickly. On the plus side that means plenty of opportunity to look away from the music(remembering to keep track of how many repetitions until something changes) at something more interesting - such as the audience...

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              #66
              Originally posted by oddoneout View Post
              One of the things that irritated me first time round was that I felt it was badly constructed - cut and paste phrases that didn't join up properly. There also didn't seem to be that much original material - I was getting distracted trying to identify where many of the bits had perhaps first come from - and the constant repetition of sparse material palled pretty quickly.
              L'homme armé was a very popular secular song, used by a number of medieval/Renaissance composers (Josquin, Palestrina &c). I'd assumed KJ's version is recognisably an adaptation of that same tune? So what does he do with it?

              It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

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                #67
                Originally posted by french frank View Post

                L'homme armé was a very popular secular song, used by a number of medieval/Renaissance composers (Josquin, Palestrina &c). I'd assumed KJ's version is recognisably an adaptation of that same tune? So what does he do with it?

                Not a lot - for 6 minutes. It's just one part of a lasagne of texts interspersing sections of the mass.

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                  #68
                  Something odd happened with my reply to ff's post and I can't even edit to add an apology for it being so!

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                    #69
                    Just had to listen through some of it to hear if it sounded as dreadful as when I last heard it. It sounded even worse, if that is possible. It really is soul destroying to hear it & makes me wonder why I bother to compose at all and put so much effort in, if that is the standard of music that manages 1000+ performances in 20 or so years.

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                      #70
                      Originally posted by Suffolkcoastal View Post
                      Just had to listen through some of it to hear if it sounded as dreadful as when I last heard it. It sounded even worse, if that is possible. It really is soul destroying to hear it & makes me wonder why I bother to compose at all and put so much effort in, if that is the standard of music that manages 1000+ performances in 20 or so years.
                      For me it would make me wonder what all the point was in working for so many years on grasping "difficult" modern composers' music, including some of the works of Webern, Boulez, Nono, Carter and Ferneyhough, not having anticipated that a composer such as Jenkins would one day be considered worthy of inclusion among the canon of composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Monteverdi, Mahler, Bartok and Schoenberg. Luckily the rewards have warranted the effort, but it leaves me feeling, well, pity for those coming up who will have less access to the greatest music, either by virtue of its more limited dissemination than formerly or by broadcasting authorities' way of treating it all as just other product to be slotted in willy-nilly, dissected, de-contextualised and misrepresented.

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                        #71
                        Much the same thing has happened in other fields for some time. I cannot read Alexander McCall Smith's books becaue they seem to me to be deliberately 'written down' to ensure the largest possible number of readers . Danielle Steel has apparently sold a billion copies of her novels, but I cannot read one sentence of hers without feeling the need to be doing something else.

                        No-one, I hope pretends that they are serious literature. But if it pleases people, well and good. There's always been a place for 'undemanding' music. But it is not Radio 3 .

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                          #72
                          Originally posted by smittims View Post
                          Much the same thing has happened in other fields for some time. I cannot read Alexander McCall Smith's books becaue they seem to me to be deliberately 'written down' to ensure the largest possible number of readers . Danielle Steel has apparently sold a billion copies of her novels, but I cannot read one sentence of hers without feeling the need to be doing something else.

                          No-one, I hope pretends that they are serious literature. But if it pleases people, well and good. There's always been a place for 'undemanding' music. But it is not Radio 3 .
                          "Undemanding", whether literature or music doesn't have to be synonymous with "badly crafted".

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                            #73
                            Originally posted by oddoneout View Post

                            "Undemanding", whether literature or music doesn't have to be synonymous with "badly crafted".
                            Are we only talking about skill, though? Karl Jenkins is "crafted" at what he does - as am I whenever I polish my shoes!

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                              #74
                              Quite so. Much 'Light Music ' by such composers as Ernest Tomlinson, Stanley Black, etc. was undemanding but superbly crafted. What seems to be wrong with Mr. Jenkins' music , which drew my comparison woth the writers I mentioned, is that it contains actual faults.

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                                #75
                                Although the Soft Machine track on now is harmonically repetitive the excellently involving and beautifully built lead guitar solo shows what can be done to create musical interest. Who was their lead guitar - superb player.
                                Ooh they’ve just introduced a new chord sequence. Should have stuck to jazz rock Karl …

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