Lamb of God is a sacred work for choir, orchestra, soloists and narrators written and composed by Rob Gardner. It recounts the events of the final days of the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of those who loved Him and knew Him best: Peter, John, Thomas, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and His mother Mary.
About the Work
The idea to write a work focusing on the Atonement of Jesus Christ has been in the back of my mind for several years now. In fact, over the years I’ve made more than a few attempts at starting the project, only to abandon it again, inevitably daunted by the enormity of the responsibility to write something worthy of the subject matter. At last I realized that, no matter how confident I would ever become in my abilities as a composer, I would likely never feel equal to the project. So in late 2009, I finally began in earnest to write. I couldn’t have imagined how difficult the process would become, or how much of me it would require. Writing “Lamb of God” has been the most intensely agonizing and consuming work I have ever undertaken. But, in retrospect, that’s how I suppose it must be.
My thought was to tell the story of the last days of the life of Jesus Christ through the experiences of those who witnessed them–those He knew and loved. It was most interesting to me to see what their decisions, their actions and their interactions with Him teach us about the Savior Himself. And it was important to me that Hope shine through even the darkest moments. I decided early on that I didn’t want any actor or singer to portray or represent the Savior in this piece, mostly because I think it’s extremely difficult to do so in an effective way. I chose instead to represent His voice with the solo cello. I also felt that, where the choir sang in moments of underscore, I wanted them to sing in Aramaic–the language the Savior and his contemporaries would have spoken. I have to confess that the reason for that was mostly that English just didn’t seem to evoke the power and emotion I was looking for, whereas the guttural and consonant-laden sounds of Aramaic did so beautifully. There are many more decisions I made that I’ll leave you to discover for yourself.
I hope that this work will help bring to life for you the events depicted from the final days of the Savior’s life, and even more, how “in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
– Rob Gardner, composer
Plans for a project like Lamb of God had been in the works for several years, but fear of not getting it right kept us from really pursuing it until the fall of 2009, when composer Rob Gardner felt strongly that it had to happen. It was decided then that, for this project and this subject matter, we had to raise my standards both artistically and logistically.
That decision led to a collaboration with the world-famous London Symphony Orchestra. If you’ve seen any of the Star Wars or Harry Potter movies, or heard their soundtracks, then you’ve heard the London Symphony Orchestra. They’re the world’s most recorded orchestra and unanimously regarded as one of the best. So, in June we went to London to record with them at the beautiful Air Studios, and to say the very least, that was an incredible experience. They brought life and feeling to this new music like they’d been playing it for years.
Then, a month later, we gathered the Spire Chorus–60 of the finest singers from all over–and recorded them in an acoustically marvelous church in Paradise Valley, AZ. And once again, the incredible spirit and musicianship of these singers took this work to a higher level.
Finally, we brought in 13 magnificent soloists to sing the lead characters. These soloists include Jordan Bluth, Daniel Beck, Michael Sackett, Jenee Prince, Linsey Maxson and Sharon Hopkins–all of whom brought both an intimacy and power to their roles that’s rare to find.