Hayley to be featured on studio recording of "Gloria" by Karl Jenkins

3 Jun 2010

Hayley is to be featured on a studio recording of Karl Jenkins' new choral work "Gloria". The work will be given its world premiere live performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 11th July 2010, and the studio recording will be released by EMI Classics the following day.



Here's an extract from an article at Classic FM:

On 12 July, the day after the premiere, EMI Classics will release a studio recording of Gloria, paired with Jenkins’ Te Deum, with Jenkins himself conducting the National Youth Chorus of Great Britain, the London Symphony Orchestra and soprano Hayley Westenra.

Hayley Westenra’s debut album Pure featured Jenkins’ Benedictus. She comments on the forthcoming release: “Karl's work is so rewarding to sing as he writes such dynamic and beautiful melodies for the voice, and I jumped at the chance to not only perform his music again, but to actually record his Gloria with Karl himself directing.”

Jenkins’ five-movement work Gloria takes as its main text the Latin version of the hymn of praise to God from the traditional Christian Mass, whose first line is 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo' (Glory to God in the Highest). Jenkins has also included other passages from the Bible, and in between movements he has “selected readings from various ancient religions, each expressing their own concept of the divine or a deity. The detachment of Buddhism, and the paradoxes of Taoism are both alternative ways of perceiving ultimate reality, and they therefore stand as a kind of counterpoint to the Abrahamic religions.”

Read the full article at www.classicfm.co.uk



1 Gloria: I. The Proclamation: Gloria in excelsis Deo

2 Gloria: Reading from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita (The Song of the Blessed Lord)   

3 Gloria: II. The Prayer: Laudamus Te   

4 Gloria: Reading from the Buddhist Diamond Sutra   

5 Gloria: III. The Psalm: Tehellim - Psalm 150   

6 Gloria: Reading from the Taoist Tao Te Ching (The Classic of the Way and Virtue)   

7 Gloria: IV. The Song: I'll make music   

8 Gloria: Reading from the Qur'an: 'Al Fatiha' (The Opening)   

9 Gloria: V. The Exaltation: Domine Deus   

10 Te Deum: Te Deum laudamus   

11 Te Deum: Te ergo quaesumus   

12 Te Deum: Aeterna fac   

13 Te Deum: Miserere nostril   

14 Te Deum: Te Deum laudamus (reprise)


BBC Review

Faultless musicians flesh out Jenkins’ new choral work superbly well.

Charlotte Gardner 2010-06-24

A recent poll by the music journalist Norman Lebrecht named Karl Jenkins as the most performed composer in the world today. Given that this premiere studio recording of Gloria, his brand new choral work, coincides with the Queen awarding him the CBE for Services to Music, Jenkins must currently be walking with a pronounced spring in his step.

Gloria is high on drama, with Jenkins' predilection for the sounds of ethnic and Third World cultures very much in evidence. The third movement in particular, a setting of Psalm 150, brings to mind his ever-popular Adiemus, with its primeval-sounding harmonies, declamatory choral style and pounding drummed rhythms. For some, this is as powerful as classical music gets. For others, it's a bit too reminiscent of Hollywood depictions of chanting natives offering up blushing maidens to King Kong.

There's more to Gloria than primeval pounding though, as the second and fourth movements show with their sustained melodic lines and tranquil tone. Hayley Westenra's fourth movement solo, the serene ‘I'll make music’, even takes a somewhat incongruous Disney-esque twist towards the end. Quips about blushing maidens and Disney sparkle aside, this is music that engages, whips up and then soothes the listener, and it's a shame that Jenkins didn't just let his music do the talking. Instead, the work's five movements are punctuated by readings in Sanskrit, Chinese and Arabic from the Bhagavad Gita, the Diamond Sutra, the Tao Te Ching, and the Qur'an. Jenkins claims these stand as a counterpoint to the Abrahamic religions, but in reality readings in Sanskrit and Arabic don't work on disc, at least not for a mainly English-speaking audience. They simply break the musical train of thought.

However, the musicians themselves can't be faulted. Accompanied by an LSO on top form, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain produce the deep, strong wall of sound needed in the punchier movements, and luscious creamy richness in the second movement ‘Laudamus Te’. Westenra is a perfect casting, her lilting pop-classical voice a sweet contrast to the vocal and instrumental power elsewhere. 

This performance and the overall likeability of Gloria will probably keep Jenkins at the top of most-performed polls for some time to come.

Tracklisting and review from BBC Music

Visit www.karljenkins.com for more information.

Click here for an audio sample of Hayley singing "I'll Make Music", posted by EMI Classics 16 June 2010.

Click here to view the complete song, recorded live by Hayley and Karl (official embedded YouTube video, by EMI Classics 16 June 2010).

The album can be purchased at Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk or HMV.com.


The album is expected to be released in the US on 10th August 2010.