"We've always felt that the single most important work any creative person could do is to create something that would help others come closer to the Savior and have a greater understanding of and appreciation for the atonement," says Michael. "But oftentimes the very nature of the subject is a bit intimidating for a composer, songwriter, musician or artist." The creative group agreed that the best way to accomplish the goal was to seek the Lord's help, and to follow his example of using allegories.
The basic premise of The Garden is: What could we learn about life, about ourselves, about the nature of repentance, faith, hope and love if the Garden of Gethsemane were to tell the story? How would it change us if we were near the Savior in the Garden? This unique musical allegory is like nothing heard before from these talented musical artists. Here, they truly reveal themselves as artists — blending the right melodies, symbols, lyrics and orchestral elements on their palette and spreading them across an outstanding musical canvas.
The Garden has been compared to Les Miserables in its style and format, and many have already been moved by the recording. A group of college students said The Garden made the Atonement more real than it had ever been for many of them. A grandmother said that she listened to it three times over two days and each time it affected more her more profoundly.
In the album's liner notes, the creators ask listeners to imagine what it was like in the premortal existence awaiting our experience on earth: We have all been taught, perfectly, the purpose for our leaving the presence of our Heavenly Father and coming to earth. We understand the plan. But because everything we hope to become hinges on the events that will take place on the earth we are about to inhabit, we find that we can't talk enough, dream enough, think enough, or sing enough with each other about the adventure that awaits us. The musical presentation is not intended to answer all our questions about what life on earth will really be like or how our individual lives will unfold; rather, it is a humble and artistic attempt by a group of musicians to focus our spiritual hearts and minds in a creatively different way on what will be the central event in all human history: the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The Garden will do for Easter what The Forgotten Carols has done for Christmas — provide celebrants with a comforting, personal experience with the Savior's love through music and song.
About the Authors
MICHAEL MCLEAN has released more than two dozen albums, has written, produced, and directed award-winning films and television commercials, and has annually presented his landmark Christmas production, The Forgotten Carols, based on his book, to sold-out audiences throughout the United States since 1991. He and his wife, Lynne, live in Heber Valley.
A Spiritualy Stirring Masterpiece
by Tyler - reviewed on March 27, 2001
Awesome is one word that comes to my mind when I think of this amazing CD. This is one of the most moving and emotionally stirring musicals I have ever heard. It really strikes a spiritual cord with its masterful portrayal of the infinite atonement of our Savior and the redemption He offers to us all. The power and majesty of this musical allegory is some of the greastest I have ever felt. I was moved to tears a couple of times, that is how powerful it is. I recomend this to everyone. Listening to this CD is a wonderful and deeply spiritual experience. Missing it would be a shame.
Want to feel the power of the Spirit? Get this!
by Danielle - reviewed on February 15, 2002
Simply superb! A must have for any music collection. Both the music and lyrics are powerfully moving. The Spirit washes over me each and every time I turn it on. Breathtaking!
The Garden, what an experience!!!
by rob - reviewed on April 22, 2008
I wanted to take a moment to share with you my feelings on the 'The Garden', the allegorical oratorio that is performed by The Chords of Faith. I can tell you that is truly one of the most moving performances that I've been listened to in the past 30 years of my membership in the church. Our own David Wright performed in this as a soloist playing the part of the Ram. And any of you that know how great a singer that David is, imagine 7 other soloists and an entire choir that are equally as magnificent. It helped open my eyes to the Love of our Savior through a different light. One that I could truly relate to. It helped strengthen my testimony and help me feel the love my Lord has for me. It did indeed live up to all the billing as a truly tremendous musical. You could feel the spirit through the music so overwhelmingly. If you have ever wanted to be edified through music, then this is a blessing beyond compare. I only wish I was blessed with the kind of musical talent to be able to sing like that. Those that did perform are truly blessed with a gift.
Beautiful, Touching, & Unique
by Josh - reviewed on October 08, 2008
This music is inspired. Be sure to read the liner notes for a better understanding of what's going on. Everyone should experience this.