I attended a live performance of this work and I loved every second of it. I was extremely moved. Since then, I listened to this CD two or three times a day straight through for weeks. Although I do prefer the live version, this recording is powerful as well. I would have preferred the narrators to have more mature voices, since it sounded like they were young adults. However it detracts little from its message of hope. The London Symphony Orchestra definitely does it justice. Rob Gardner is one of my favorite composers for sacred choral music, and this oratorio is the best of his work. He uses scripture in the words, but he also describes the different emotions the apostles might have had during the events of Christ's life. It really helps you view the life of Christ differently than if you are used to listening to Handel's Messiah or other hymns you've heard your whole life. Gardner really makes the Bible story many of us hear about since we were children come to life. I really appreciated Gardner's use of the cello as the voice of Christ rather than having a singer perform it. I would highly recommend this for Christians of any denomination, and is a wonderful way to celebrate Easter or the life of Christ any time of the year.
The perfect Easter cantata. I am amazed that someone as young as Rob Gardner could compose such a sophisticated and multi-layered work. It is captivating. Be prepared to want more than one way of listening--one for the car, your home and several to share!
This musical masterpiece tells of the last period in Christ's mortal life. Taken from the new testament, the content tells of the amazing experiences of Christ and his disciples as He prepares for and accomplishes His great sacrifice. This can bring you to tears with the beauty of its message and the power of its music.