Those lucky enough to have heard The Sheldon Singers’ 30th Anniversary Concert last Saturday will surely agree that it was an absolutely outstanding occasion. The centrepiece was a riveting performance of The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace – Sir Karl Jenkins’ dramatic commentary on the savagery of war and the alternative pathway of peace. With current events across our unstable world, this intensely moving music makes a profound emotional impact, similar to Britten’s War Requiem 50 years ago.
First performed in 2000 as part of the Millennium celebrations, and specifically for the relocation of the Armouries Museum to Leeds, The Armed Man calls for a full symphony orchestra, chorus and soloists, including a Muezzin to sing the Muslim Call to Prayer. For the Sheldon Concert Julie De’Ath Lancaster used a pared-down orchestra of strings, flute/piccolo, 3 trumpets, percussion and organ.