Adiemus (Songs of Sanctuary)
With four entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame, Karl Jenkins is the most popular living British composer. This is his second highest entry, first appearing in the chart in 1997 where it's remained ever since, peaking at number 56 in 1998.
In 1995, Adiemus ensured that Karl Jenkins would burst forth into the mainstream. As with so many pieces of classical music, Adiemus's success in the late twentieth century was initially down to its use on a television advert in this case, a Delta Airlines commercial. Interestingly, the music was actually commissioned by the airline and then developed further by Jenkins into a full-blown classical work.
To say it is scored for sopranos and orchestra is to already define Adiemus in conventional ways that the composer would arguably resist. The female soloist (on the original recording, Miriam Stockley) performs in a fusion of styles, with Western melodic structures, world music influences and free time signatures abounding. The second female singer (in this case, Mary Carewe) harmonises in a parallel manner, creating an equally new age feel and non-Western classical music sound-world.
Buy your Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame Album now
Do you fancy an album packed full of four hours’ worth of guaranteed hits? Then the Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame album is right up your street!
The Movie Music Hall of Fame
Discover the nation's favourite film soundtracks in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame, featuring music by John Williams, Ennio Morricone and Hans Zimmer.
Don't miss the Classic FM Hall of Fame Hour
Join John Suchet for an hour of the very best classical music, from full-blooded Romantic concertos to delicate Classical miniatures.
Browse Halls of Fame past
Discover more about our annual chart and explore Halls of Fame past, as far back as 1996.