Agnus Dei is a Christian theological concept of the Lamb of God and the associated liturgical text from the Roman Catholic Latin Mass. You’ll recall in a recent post about Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings where Barber used Agnus Dei as the lyrics for his choral arrangement. In fact Agnus Dei has been set to music by many composers. Michael W Smith’s adaptation here comprises today’s music library post.
I mentioned previously that I was very fond of Christian music. That came into being around the time I was baptised in 2003 by the Mornington Baptist church in Victoria, Australia. I was introduced to a plethora of Christian artists and groups whose music I still hold very dear. Michael W Smith was one such figure who stood out. I am no longer a firm believer in any one theistic doctrine but I do hold high regard for the Judaeo-Christian concept of The Logos, moral-truths and archetypes / meta-heroes.
Michael Smith is an American musician who has had chart success in both contemporary christian music and mainstream. In his youth he gravitated towards drugs and alcohol, but suffered a breakdown in 79 that led to his recommitment to Christianity. That obviously worked because he’s now a three-time grammy winner and has sold more than 18 million albums.
Interestingly, I just read he was good friends with both President Bush’s even singing at senior’s state funeral. He’s also friends with U2’s Bono and they collaborated on a Christmas album. Michael and Amy Grant (The Christian singer who had some big mainstream hits as well) have gone on several concert tours together. In 2018, he sang and played piano at Billy Graham’s memorial and funeral.
Agnus Dei was released by Michael on his sixth studio album Go West Young Man in 1990. According to wikipedia: This record was his first attempt at mainstream success. It was successful, as it scored a Billboard Hot 100 top ten hit with “Place in This World”, which peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1991.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the following live version of Agnus Dei, but I must be closing in on a hundred. The choral singing is something to behold.
For our Lord God Almighty reigns
For our Load God Almighty reigns…