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The latest large-scale work by Karl Jenkins, One World, is now released as a recording by Decca Records and the vocal score is published by Boosey & Hawkes. The world premiere on 19 November at the Brucknerhaus in Linz features the World Choir and Orchestra for Peace conducted by the composer.

The recording of Karl Jenkins’s new work, One World, is released internationally on 7 July by Decca Records, providing a major addition to his best-selling catalogue of music for choir and orchestra. The hour-long work, which explores themes of repairing a fractured world, receives its concert premiere at the Brucknerhaus in Linz on 19 November with the World Choir for Peace and World Orchestra for Peace conducted by the composer, and further performances of music from the work are planned for the Jenkins 80th birthday year in 2024. The vocal score of One World is published by Boosey & Hawkes on 16 August and can now be pre-ordered. Orchestral materials will be available to performing groups on rental from Boosey & Hawkes following the premiere.

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One World, scored for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, chorus and orchestra, was composed in 2021-22 and deals with a fractured world (populist governments, plagues, climate change, human trafficking, disrespect for basic human rights, terrorism, war), heralding a vision of a peaceful and egalitarian planet. The score sets texts from the Bible, the Hindu Gayatri Mantra as well as the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Frances Harper, Kahlil Gibran and Carol Barratt. According to the composer, the new work is, perhaps, best encapsulated by one of the texts: ‘Tikkun Olam’, Hebrew for ‘repair the world’.

Decca’s new recording features the World Orchestra and Choir for Peace conducted by the composer, with baritone Roderick Williams, soprano Lucy Crowe and mezzo Kathryn Rudge as soloists. Two movements feature choral contributions by the Stay at Home Choir with a community of over 1000 singers from over 70 countries around the world.

The recording of One World also features the voice of Karl Jenkins himself, as he chants on the track Savitur, meaning ‘the inner sun’. Consisting of a group of words that are repeated as an aid to meditation, it was originally meant as a guide track only, but people liked it so much (without knowing who it was), it stayed, and is the first time ever the composer’s vocals have been used on a recording.

Karl Jenkins describes the genesis of One World in his liner booklet for the new recording: “I started work during the first UK lock-down but little progress was made. The working life of a composer is very much akin to lock-down, in that one is isolated, so that fact alone was not the issue. Eventually I had a chat with Nicol Matt, the German founder and musical director of The World Choir for Peace (WCP) with whom I had worked, together with the World Orchestra for Peace (WOP), on my 2018 ‘Armed Man Berlin’ project, marking 100 years since the end of The Great War. He was looking for a work suitable for his choir, so we exchanged ideas and combined projects. One World was conceived. Nicol has been invaluable at the creative core of this project from the start with his input on text and ideas greatly appreciated. The third member of this trinity was Carol Barratt (musician/librettist), who provided words and adaptations for a number of movements. She has been at the heart of the composition, production and the creative process from beginning to end while also providing a sounding board for the composer, as Lady Jenkins!”

A further new Karl Jenkins recording, Tros y Garreg (Over the Stone) was featured on the official Coronation Album, out now on Decca Classics. This arrangement of a Welsh folk song, drawn from the composer’s harp concerto Over the Stone, was performed as part of the music programme preceding the Coronation service of HM King Charles III and Queen Camilla in May, with the Official Royal Harpist Alis Huws as soloist. The concerto was commissioned by His Majesty when Prince of Wales, and the album was recorded and released by Decca Records on the same day as the Coronation.

Recent Karl Jenkins highlights this summer have included the world premiere of a new saxophone concerto, Stravaganza, written for soloist Jess Gillam. The work was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and explores themes of carnival and extravagant fantasy. The first performance took place at the Philharmonie in Berlin on 11 June with Jess Gillam and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, and performances in the UK are planned for 2024.

Next year brings concerts around the world honouring Karl Jenkins’s 80th birthday, including a UK tour visiting the Royal Albert Hall in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cardiff and Manchester (10 Mar – 14 Apr 2024). The programme, conducted by the composer, features the UK premiere of music from One World together with The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, which has received close to 3000 performances since its premiere in 2000 and its recording recently passed the 1000-week mark on the UK classical charts. Carnegie Hall in New York plays host to a Karl Jenkins 80th birthday concert on 15 January 2024 presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York with assembled choirs directed by Jonathan Griffith.

> Karl Jenkins UK tour
> DCINY at Carnegie Hall

For further information on Karl Jenkins and his music visit:
> Karl Jenkins at Boosey & Hawkes
> Karl Jenkins website

>  Further information on Work: One World

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