March 06, 2018

Karl Jenkins' 'The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace' on vinyl for Record Store Day

The first-ever LP release of this beloved contemporary classic will hit record store shelves on 21 April.

This year's Record Store Day exclusive offerings will include a limited-edition 2-LP edition of The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by cult Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins. The work will be available for the first time on vinyl to mark the centenary of the Armistace that ended WWI on 11 November 1918.

Commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum for the Millennium celebrations in 2000, The Armed Man was dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis. Like Benjamin Britten's War Requiem before it, it is a powerful anti-war statement based on the Catholic Mass, which Jenkins combines with other poignant sources. The work has had over 2000 performances since it was first published (premiering 25 April 2000) and continues to be performed by professional choirs and amateur choral societies all over the world.

Recorded during summer 2000, the album was released on CD and cassette in September 2001, has achieved double-gold award status in the UK with more than 216,000 copies sold, and remains a constant bestseller on the official UK Classical Artist Chart.

'The Armed Man is probably the most important work I’ve written to date, in that it was pivotal in my changing direction and therefore my musical life,' says Jenkins. 'It was dedicated to the victims of Kosovo. The tragedy in the Balkans was unfolding as I composed, and was a constant reminder of the sentiment that was at the core of this work.

'The piece was a millennium commission, written in the hope that the 21st century would herald a new beginning but, sadly, the past years have proved otherwise. However, from much of the correspondence I’ve received, it appears the music has brought comfort and solace to many, which is both very humbling and gratifying. The text of The Armed Man draws on numerous different sources, and is meant to be an all-embracing and universal work with a message for all.'

British humanitarian and author Terry Waite CBE said: 'Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace was one of the most moving performances I have ever attended. This powerful work should convince even the most hardened cynic that war is a futile and brutal exercise and we should do all in our power to promote peace.’

The Armed Man will be available for Record Store Day 2018 as a limited-edition double LP exclusive to the UK, with two 180g heavyweight vinyl records, deluxe gatefold packaging and inner sleevenote including lyrics, and a bonus track - In Memoriam Alfryn Jenkins.

Record Store Day 2018 will take place around the world on 21 April 2018. Thousands of record stores around the world celebrate their unique culture, with special vinyl releases made available exclusively for the day and many shops and cities hosting performances and events to mark the occasion, in what has become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar. In the spirit of these festivities, this LP will not be available to purchase online. Find a record store near you here.

Karl Jenkins Armed Man LP