LDS Oratorios

Posted on June 6, 2011. Filed under: Choir Music, General Church Music, Stake Music | Tags: |

In the spirit and tradition of the great oratorios of Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and others, LDS musicians have composed oratorios based on gospel subjects. Rick’s College/BYU Idaho is responsible for commissioning several of these oratorios. A few of these oratorios are in print and available for performance by stake or regional choirs. To get ahold of most of these works you would need to contact the composer, BYU-I, or for Robertson’s oratorio, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Some of these oratorios are not in the traditional style of the Classical oratorios but are rather composed in a pop/classical crossover style. Below is a list of some of the most notable LDS oratorios of the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Leroy Robertson’s Oratorio from the Book of Mormon (1947)
  • Crawford Gates’ Salvation for the Dead
  • Merrill Bradshaw’s The Restoration (1974)*
  • Robert Cundick’s The Redeemer (1977)*
  • David Zabriskie’s Israel (1979)
  • Darwin Wolford’s Behold He Cometh (1986)**
  • Crawford Gates’ Visions of Eternity (1993)**
  • Robert M. Cundick’s Song of Nephi (1995)**
  • Michael McLean’s The Garden (1995)*
  • K. Newell Dayley’s Immanuel (1997)**
  • Merrill Jenson’s Come Unto Christ (1999)**
  • Rob Gardner’s He is Jesus Christ (1999)*
  • Lex de Azevedo’s Hosanna (2000)
  • Daniel E. Gawthrop’s The Passion and the Promise (2001)**
  • Rob Gardner’s Joseph Smith the Prophet (2001)*
  • A. Laurence Lyon’s Visions of Light and Truth (2003)**
  • Peter Covino Jr.’s The Messiah, Another Testament (2003)
  • Rob Gardner’s Saints and Pioneers (2004)*
  • David Zabriskie’s Testament of Paul, His Witness of Christ to the World (2005)**
  • Eda Ashby’s The Tree of Life: Redemption (2007)**
  • Robert Cundick’s God’s Everlasting Love, with text by David A. Bednar (2009)**
  • Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God (2010)*
  • Brett Stewart’s Messiah in America (2010)*

*available for online purchase through iTunes, Amazon, or other sources

**available only through the BYU-Idaho Bookstore

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12 Responses to “LDS Oratorios”

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Are recordings available for purchase for these oratorios? What about the Book of Mormon Oratorio in particular?

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square along with soloists performed the Robertson Oratorio at Easter 2004. BYU-TV airs this concert occasionally, but there is an audio dub at:

Here is an amazing new oratorio from CJ Madsen based on the book of 3 Nephi, called “One Fold, One Shepherd.” It is only about an hour long (or less). This recording is of the piano/select instrument version, but it has now been fully orchestrated as well and was premeired this year in Provo and Sandy Utah with the orchestration. Contact the composer for the rights and music (

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