‘Cantata Memoria’ commemorates through new music the Aberfan tragedy of 21 October 1966, when 116 children and 28 adults tragically lost their lives as a coal tip engulfed Pantglas Junior School, together with some houses, in Aberfan, south Wales.
This large-scale choral work – in English, Welsh and Latin – has been commissioned by S4C, the Welsh language TV channel, to mark the 50th anniversary of what has become known to subsequent generations – both in the UK and around the world – as the Aberfan Disaster. The first half features music by Karl Jenkins and others, and words/poetry read by actress Sian Phillips and actor Michael Sheen, whilst the second half will premiere ‘Cantata Memoria’. Amongst modern choral circles, Karl Jenkins is a composer and a brand. A brand that stands for an epic, moving sound that connects with people from all different age groups and backgrounds. In the first large-scale works since the best-selling “The Armed Man – A mass for Peace”, this special and profoundly emotional new work features no one less than the celebrated welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, as well as leading Welsh harpist Catrin Finch, and a host of children and adult voices.
Though written to commemorate a specific and profoundly sad event, the emotions and themes housed within this special music can resonate beyond: Loss, then the transition from darkness into light are truly universal occurrences.
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