Decca announces world premiere recordings of Sir Karl Jenkins’ STRAVAGANZA & reworking of PALLADIO

Decca Records has today announced STRAVAGANZA, a new album of world premiere recordings of works by legendary composer Sir Karl Jenkins.

Featuring his saxophone concerto of the same name – written for and performed by star saxophonist Jess Gillam – the album also includes a vibrant reimagining of Jenkins’ beloved work, Palladio, heard here in a brand-new orchestration by the composer.

The recording is the first since Decca honoured Sir Karl with a historic lifetime deal, celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday and recognising his enduring musical appeal.

Sir Karl JenkinsSTRAVAGANZA is released on Friday 9th August 2024, coinciding with its live performance at the BBC Proms (Prom 32, 12th August). The first single – the first movement of Palladio Reimagined– is out today.



STRAVAGANZA, which means ‘eccentric’ in Italian, explores themes of carnival and extravagant fantasy and was written especially for Jess, inspired by her experience of first trying a saxophone at a carnival centre in her native Cumbria. The four-movement work blends Karl’s backgrounds in jazz and classical music, and features some truly virtuosic moments for the soprano saxophone, played here by Jess with her trademark skill and expressiveness.

STRAVAGANZA is performed at the BBC Proms on Monday 12th August, performed by Jess and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under conductor Nil Venditti. This is the first time that Sir Karl’s music has been featured at the Proms.

Palladio Reimagined is an epic reworking of Karl’s 1995 work Palladio for string orchestra. The original work was inspired by sixteenth-century architect Andrea Palladio and was made famous by the De Beers TV advert ‘A Diamond is Forever’ in the 1990s. Later, Escala’s string quartet version of the first movement shot into the singles chart following their appearance on Britain’s Got Talent.


Karl Jenkins Stravaganza


The artwork for the album is taken from a new piece by the eminent Italian painter Andrea Vizzini. After discovering one of his paintings in Venice in 1997, Karl’s wife remarked that it looked like Karl’s music sounded, and later discovered that Vizzini had actually been working listening to his music, completely by coincidence!

The album forms part of celebrations for Sir Karl’s 80th birthday year, which have also included a special boxset featuring some of the composer’s most popular works, a documentary on his life and work on Marquee TV, a major UK tour and a lifetime deal with Decca – the first time the label has bestowed such an honour on any artist.

One of the most performed living composers in the world, his seminal work The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace was recently voted fourth in the 2024 Classic FM Hall of Fame, the highest entry for a living composer.

For more information, and to listen now, please visit: karljenkins/PalladioReimagined

STRAVAGANZA TRACK LISTING:

1. Palladio Reimagined 1. Allegretto

2. Palladio Reimagined 2. Largo

3. Palladio Reimagined 3. Vivace

4. Stravaganza 1. Perambulation

5. Stravaganza 2. Dreams & Drones

6. Stravaganza 3. Wonky Wheels

7. Stravaganza 4. Flight… of Fancy

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