When British composer Karl Jenkins launched Adiemus with theSongs of Sanctuaryalbum in 1995, it was a fresh and exhilarating take on global music. Jenkins used choral vocals similar toEnya's, but spiked with a language of the imagination (merging African … see full wiki
Some earlier reviewers would suggest that this isn't up to the standards that Karl Jenkins achieved in some of his earlier output. I couldn't respond to that because this is the first Adiemus recording I've ever heard and, frankly, I loved every second of it. I'm thrilled that other listeners think the earlier recordings are better because I've now got something to really look forward to.
For me this recording evinced a blend of emotional responses - quiet contemplation, relaxation, toe-tapping, a satisfied smile, that whole body moving response to a driving rhythm and a joyful sense of participation in an all-encompassing musical experience. The recording is an eclectic blend of styles that cover an enormous range - Celtic rhythms and fiddling tunes in the style of River Dance; hard rock and steady beats that took a page out of Enigma's play book; a beautifully blended chorus of female voices that might well have included Enya, Diane Arkenstone and Loreena McKennitt; orchestral backgrounds that ranged from lush full orchestral accompaniment to pizzicato violin arpeggios that would have done Tchaikovsky proud in The Nutcracker; simple but effective, pleasing blues style acoustic guitar; full-bodied high speed choral sections that might have been penned by Karl Orff as part of the unforgettable Carmina Burana; and, a very effective seven beat piece that reminded me of the rhythms of Dave Brubeck's Unsquare Square Dance or Moe Kaufman's Swingin' Shepherd Blues!
Well, to each their own I suppose. It's certainly possible that this CD suffered by comparison to the quality of his other works but as a first time listener, I've got nothing but praise for it!