Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Handel's Messiah Highlights

by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

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CD Album SKU 5147220

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square present the triumphant and angelic sound of George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah. Taking over two years to record, the choir conductor, Mack Wilberg, has painstakingly captured an awe-inspiring version of arguably the best choral work ever written. The attention to every detail is impeccable, the vocal performances are unforgettable, and the “Hallelujah” chorus performed by the 360-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the 85-member Orchestra at Temple Square will long be considered one of the best versions ever recorded.

This single-disc version features 15 popular selections from Handel’s Messiah.

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Handel's Messiah
Edition: Wilberg

14 tracks
Total Time: 1 hour

  • Overture
  • Comfort Ye My People
  • Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted
  • And the Glory of the Lord
  • O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
  • For Unto Us a Child Is Born
  • He Shall Feed His Flock Like a Shepard
  • Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
  • And with His Stripes We Are Healed
  • All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray
  • Hallelujah
  • I Know That My Redeemer Lives
  • The Trumpet Shall Sound
  • Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain

About the Author

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

The 360 members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square represent men and women from many different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. They reflect a medley of unique lives and experiences and are brought together by their love for singing and their faith. Their incomparable voices are the common chord that unites to form the choral group known all over the world as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square originated in the mid-19th century in Salt Lake City. As the Latter-day Saints moved west, Church President Brigham Young included musicians among members of the advance parties. Consequently, a small choir first sang for a conference of the Church in the Salt Lake Valley on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after the first group arrived. The origins of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square may be found in the desire and commitment of early converts to include appropriate music in both sacred and secular events.

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square has appeared at 13 world's fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events. Five of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square recordings have achieved "gold record" and two have achieved "platinum record" status. The most popular was the Grammy-Award-winning 1959 release of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

For more information visit The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square fan page on Facebook.

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Average rating:

(based upon one review)

By , Submitted on 2016-03-15

In my mind, it is the precision and clarity of this recording that sets it apart so magnificently from so many others. If the big old Tab Choir sound is what you long for, then you already have your recording--this CD doesn't diminish one iota the lushness of the Ormandy version of 1959, and you may keep enjoying that one in perpetuity if you like. This new edition simply spreads even further the reach of this magnificent music to a wider audience more attuned to baroque style and the sounds of our day. And to the Anonymous reviewer who said this recording's precision meant it lacked warmth or sincerity, I would only say that exactness and accuracy are also valid ways of worshiping God who, as Mies van der Rohe reminds us, "is in the details." Where you hear austerity, I hear energy, concentration, unity, and devotion. This kind of unified sound can only be achieved by an unwavering commitment from all performers, and that is itself just as powerful a testimony of their devotion to Christ as any kind of overt emotionality.

I've sung Messiah both ways myself--big and uncontrolled, tight and disciplined--and I have to admit that the more it required of me to rein in my individual exuberance in the service of collective beauty, the more I got out of the performance, musically and spiritually. Letting the Choir "have at it," which is what I hear on some other versions, might feel good at the time, but it's basically an indulgence of the individual singers that diminishes the overall impact of the music itself.

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