Number 13 / Part I. Music. 6. Requiem by Karl Jenkins. An Analytical Approach to The Interweaving of Various Traditions in Music


In the diverse space of contemporary music, the fascinating and controversial personality of the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, which is surprising from several perspectives, stands out. Open to assimilating and processing music from various sources (academic, liturgical, folk, entertainment, oriental, exotic), the all-round musician Karl Jenkins impresses the public with unexpected artistic choices, giving up the hypostasis of instrumentalist of the jazz-rock band Nucleus and of the group Softmachine in favour of the postmodern creator he has become today, synthetizing trends from musical compositions of the last decades of the 20th century. Once with the return to the functional system, either through minimalism or through neo-romanticism, the artist has successfully covered a potential sonority path of modern opposites, also evoking references to creative models of the past. We are referring to the musical valorizing of the sacred in a synthetic vision between tradition and innovation, in the works included in the Adiemus cycle, in the opus choir Missa for Peace and, more particularly, in the Requiem (2005), a significant score in the contemporaneity. The manner in which the composer, while resorting to a musical genre originating from the Roman Catholic cult and drawing on the liturgical text of the Mass for the dead, inserted Japanese poetry, written following the structure of haiku, belonging to representative authors - Gozan Koshigaya, Issho Kosughi, Hokusai Katsushika, Kaga-no-Chiyo, is highly surprising. This study aims to highlight the interweaving imagined by Karl Jenkins between the two cultures as well as to conduct a semantic analysis of an opus in which the relationships between music and words entail a highly emotional response.

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