Jenkins' Vocalise has bags of flavour

A variety of style and instrumentation in Karl Jenkins' Vocalise, with performances from Belinda Sykes and Martin Taylor

Composer: Karl Jenkins
Repertoire: Adiemus V – Vocalise
Artists: Belinda Sykes (vocals, soloist), Martin Taylor (guitar) et al., London Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Jenkins
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Orchestral/Vocal
Label: EMI 557 6492

Whether you find Jenkins’ Adiemus compositions to be pretentious or winning examples of postmodern eclecticism, it’s hard to knock the imagination. The opening tracks suggest the first of the above judgements, thanks to bizarre rehashes of Beethoven. But then comes the welcome shock of Dona nobis pacem I, a haunting platform for the Arab-inspired vocalisations of Belinda Sykes, and the unexpected burlesque on Weinberger’s Schwanda the Bagpiper.