Duration: c. 8:00
Parts: 19 (16+3)
Difficulty: 8/10

In the Christian context, the word ‘atonement’ refers to the reconciliation of God and human kind through the death of Jesus Christ.  ‘Atonement’ was written for the Melbourne Staff Band’s 2011 UK Tour, which culminated in performances at the Royal Albert Hall where they participated in the International Staff Band’s 120th anniversary celebrations.   

The opening is reflective of the history, vastness and majesty of the Australian landscape.  It also introduces a motif taken from ‘The Wonderful Cross’ (Tomlin/Reeves), which features in its entirety later in the work.   

The next section is rhythmic and joyous; a praise offering from God’s people.

The main vehicle here is Fanny Crosby’s song ‘To God be the glory’:

To God be the glory, great things he has done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his son;
Who yielded his life atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory; great things he has done! 

The short minor section of the work attempts to depict God’s sacrificial act – the crucifixion of Christ.  The stimulus here is Isaac Watts’ text ‘…See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down…’, set to the tune 'Boston'.  The music here also alludes to other melodies typically associated with Good Friday.

By the end of this section, the music moves to the relative major with more optimism reflecting the words ‘...and find that I may truly live…’ from ‘The Wonderful Cross’.  The treatment of verse four of Watts’ song gradually builds to a more celebratory treatment of the refrain. 

The music concludes with a buoyant reprise of the ‘praise’ section before the majestic motivic material from the opening draws the music to its close.

‘Atonement’ is published by SP&S in the Judd Street Collection (March 2013) and is available from World of Brass and your local Salvation Army Trade Department or brass music retailer.


Recordings featuring 'Atonement'
Click on the recording covers to order




DVD - The Complete Works



Melbourne Staff Band

DVD - Staff Bands in Concert


© Roger Trigg Music