Join the Pasadena Presbyterian Church for its annual Good Friday Concert on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the church Sanctuary. This year Dr. Timothy Howard, the church’s director of music and organist, will lead the 60-voice Kirk Choir with community singers, soloists and the Friends of Music orchestra in Karl Jenkins’ poignant work The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.
Written in 1999 and premiered in 2000, the piece is essentially an anti-war piece and was commissioned by the Royal Armories Museum for London’s Millennium celebrations and dedicated to the victims of the then-ongoing Kosovo crisis. The piece moves in and out of engaging movements and motifs and offers a great variety with both tempo filled passages and moments of fantastic grandeur. Since its premiere it has become the most-performed major choral work by a living composer.
The piece is based around wonderfully interwoven Bible passages, and has its foundation in the Catholic Mass. However, Jenkins also borrowed inspiration from the fifteenth century folk song “L’hommearmé” in the first and final movements. In addition, the piece includes passages from writers like Rudyard Kipling and Alfred Lord Tennyson, sung in outstanding harmonies.
Interestingly, The Armed Man was one of the first major “classical” compositions by Jenkins, who began his career as a jazz and jazz-rock musician. It now holds the distinction of being the most often performed major work by any living composer.
The Pasadena Presbyterian Church is located at 585 East Colorado Boulevard, corner of Madison Ave., in the Playhouse District of Pasadena.The concert is free of admission charges; a freewill offering will be taken. Information: www.ppcmusic.org