Palladio (Jenkins)

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by Karl Jenkins
Plan of La Rotonda by Palladio, whose design in harmonious proportions inspired the composition
FormConcerto grosso
Composed1995 (1995)
Published1996 (1996): London by Boosey & Hawkes
Duration16 minutes
Scoringstring orchestra

Palladio is a composition for string orchestra by Karl Jenkins, written in 1995. The title refers to the architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). The work in three movements is in the form of a concerto grosso. Motifs of the first movement, Allegretto, were used for a TV commercial of De Beers, "A Diamond Is Forever", from 1993.


Motifs of the first movement, Allegretto, were used for a TV commercial of De Beers, "A Diamond Is Forever", from 1993.[1][2] Then Jenkins completed a suite of three movements in the form of a concerto grosso for string orchestra, named Palladio, in reverence of the Renaissance architect.[1][3]

Palladio was published in 1996 by Boosey & Hawkes. It takes about 16 minutes to perform.[1] The composer comments:

Palladio was inspired by the sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, whose work embodies the Renaissance celebration of harmony and order. Two of Palladio's hallmarks are mathematical harmony and architectural elements borrowed from classical antiquity, a philosophy which I feel reflects my own approach to composition. The first movement I adapted and used for the 'Shadows' A Diamond is Forever television commercial for a worldwide campaign. The middle movement I have since rearranged for two female voices and string orchestra, as heard in Cantus Insolitus from my work Songs of Sanctuary.[1]

"Harmonious proportions and mathematics" play a role in music as in architecture. The Renaissance architect Palladio based his designs on antique Roman models and studied especially the measurements of Vitruvius. Jenkins in turn based his music on Palladio's "harmonious mathematical principles".[4]

The music, especially the first movement, has been arranged for different ensembles, including wind quintet[5] and wind band.[6] Jenkins made a version for piano and used the motifs of movement I for an aria "Exultate jubilate", related to his 70th birthday.[7]

Scoring and structure[edit]

The piece in three movements is scored for string orchestra.[1][8]

  1. Allegretto
  2. Largo
  3. Vivace


Palladio is featured on a 1996 CD Diamond Music, played by members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the composer.[1] It is combined with other music by Jenkins including variations from Adiemus and his second string quartet.[8] Movement I appears in other collections, such as Karl Jenkins & Adiemus: The Essential Collection.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Te Deum". Boosey & Hawkes. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  2. ^ "L'art dans la publicité / Ecoute (1993): Palladio - Karl Jenkins" (PDF) (in French). pp. 1–3. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  3. ^ Price, Karen (13 January 2011). "Prolific Composer Karl Jenkins Coming to Carnegie Hall Concert". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  4. ^ McDowall, Carolyn. "Music – Harmony from Apollo to Palladio & Mozart to Jenkins". Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Palladio / composer: Karl Jenkins / arranger: Tony Small". Schott. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Palladio / composer: Karl Jenkins / arranger: Robert Longfield". Schott. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  7. ^ Price, Karen (2 May 2014). "Karl Jenkins on the album that marks his 70th birthday and his 50 years in the music industry". Wales Online. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Karl Jenkins / Palladio". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Karl Jenkins & Adiemus: The Essential Collection". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 February 2015.

External links[edit]