Please note: This concert is in the past and has already taken place.


Chester Cathedral
Saint Werburgh Street


Karl JenkinsThe Armed Man (A Mass for Peace)
Gerald FinziIntimations of Immortality, Op.29


Paul Smy – Tenor
Helen Ann Gregory – mezzo-soprano
Graham Jordan Ellis – Conductor

Chester Music Society Choir
Liverpool Sinfonia

Other concerts in this Series (+)

Programme Note

The Armed Man by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins is subtitled "A Mass for Peace". Like Benjamin Britten's War Requiem before it, it is essentially an anti-war piece and is based on the Catholic Mass, which Jenkins combines with other sources, principally the 15th century folk song L'homme armé in the first and last movements.

In addition to extracts from the Ordinary of the Mass, the text incorporates words from other religious and historical sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible (Psalms and Revelation), and the Mahabharata. Writers whose words appear in the work include Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, a survivor of Hiroshima.

The Armed Man charts the growing menace of a descent into war, interspersed with moments of reflection. It shows the horrors that war brings; and ends with the hope for peace in a new millennium, when "sorrow, pain and death can be overcome".

Intimations of Immortality, an ode for tenor, chorus, and orchestra, is one of the best-known works by English composer Gerald Finzi. It is a setting of William Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality", cast as a single continuous movement.

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