The Lamb (Tavener)

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"The Lamb" in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794), illustrated by Blake

The Lamb is a choral work by British composer John Tavener[1] composed in 1982.[2] It is a setting to music of the William Blake poem The Lamb from Blake's collection of poems Songs of Innocence.[2][3] It is one of Tavener's best known works.[4][5]

The Lamb was performed shortly after its composition at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in Kings College Chapel, Cambridge on Christmas Eve 1982.[2] The service was broadcast to a large international TV and radio audience and this gave the piece widespread exposure.

The Lamb featured in the soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino's film The Great Beauty (2013, Italian: La grande bellezza).[6]

The Lamb has been a set work for the Edexcel A level music examination.[7]


  1. ^ Service, Tom (20 February 2013). "A guide to John Tavener's music". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Vincent, Alice (12 November 2013). "Sir John Tavener, composer, dies aged 69". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  3. ^ Perry, Keith (11 June 2014). "Prince of Wales at Thanksgiving Service for his friend, composer Sir John Tavener". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Taverner The Lamb" (PDF). Edexcel.
  5. ^ Alexandra Coghlan (2016). Carols From King's. BBC Books. p. 180.
  6. ^ "Janus Films presents The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)". Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  7. ^ Terry, Paul (2006). A Student's Guide to A2 Music for the Edexcel Specification. Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-1-904226-87-1.