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 deluxe version features the complete Messiah on two discs as well as a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes footage of the making of this landmark recording, interviews with Mack Wilberg, and insight into the fascinating history of Handel’s Messiah.
DVD bonus footage not included with MP3 Download version
The Complete Oratorio
Total Time: 2 hours 23 minutes
Guest Soloists: Thoughts and Reflections
Why Another Recording of Messiah: An Interview with Mack Wilberg, conductor
Historical Setting of Messiah: Thoughts from Musicologist Luke Howard
A New Painting for Messiah: J. Kirk Richards Talks about Painting the CD Cover Art
Hallelujah from Messiah: Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
This is an amazing collection of music. If you don't have Handel's Messiah in your collection, then get it now. It's one of those rare creations that is timeless, inspiring, and wonderful at any time of the year.
I always get chills when I listen to the Hallelujah chorus. I think I especially love the Messiah because I sang some of the songs in college choir and it was an unforgettable experience.
One thing I've noticed is that this type of music, specifically some of the instrumental music is soothing to my children. I have a 5 year old who is absolutely nuts, but he loves music. I've caught him several times with CDs like this in his room, just listening, bobbing his head to the beat. It's remarkable to me because I am often exhausted by his ironclad will (read stubborness) but there is something about music that speaks to a different part of him.
Try something new today. Listen to a piece of classical music and find out how it affects your house.
I've been happy with the 1950s performance for years. I didn't get a chance to watch the live performance, but when I watched the recording I was overjoyed to see/hear that a harpsichord was used. To me Messiah just doesn't sound right without one.
The recording is very clean, it does NOT include the constant coughing and hacking of the audience that plagues many live performances. I assume they either had some very fancy microphones or this recording was a rehearsal. The recording quality seems very good. And they get bonus points for offering it in FLAC. Even though I could have easily done it myself once I received the CDs, I am happy to see FLAC becoming more common. I hope that one day the major music sites will catch on and change from lossy to lossless.
The performance is crisp, clean, polished and exactly what I would hope for a Baroque performance.
In case any influential choir members end up reading this, here is my "wish list" of things I'd like to hear performed by the choir. Our hymns are sacred and beautiful, however there is certainly a vast amount of inspired music not found in our hymnal:
- Bach Mass in B minor
- Mozart Requiem in D minor, K.626
- Vivaldi Gloria in D. Major (they did this year ago, but I want to see it done in General Conference or the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional, and with a harpsichord)
- Haydn The Creation
After anxiously awaiting this recording for two years I just really wanted to love it and feel it was the best recording of “Messiah” I had ever heard. The Soprano, Alto, and Bass soloists were wonderful. The tenor was a bit over stylized. When they sang their solos it felt like they were testifying of Christ. Another positive is that for the first time in I don’t know how long one can hear the Tabernacle organ in this recording. I’ve really missed that.
The choir and orchestra were very precise, crisp and clean. Indeed very baroque sounding, But there was nothing of the warmth and emotion from the earlier recordings. As I said after waiting two years I really wanted to love this. After listening to a couple of the first couple of choruses, I literally cried because of what was missing. The choruses were very precise and in some places even clipped like the ends of some words were missing. But there wasn’t any warmth or heart to it. It almost seemed like there was so much emphasis on the clarity and precision that the text didn’t get as much meaning, The earlier recordings of “Messiah” (1959 Columbia and 1995 NightPro) maybe we’re not as precise or perfectly baroque in style or practice, but the choir had a lot more warmth and one could feel their testimony of Christ as they sang and the Spirit was exceptionally strong even though I was just hearing a recording.
I wanted that kind of feeling from this new recording of “Messiah,” wanting it to be the best recording of it I ever heard. I’ve sung “Messiah” numerous times and played in an orchestra accompanying it. At times the Spirit was so overwhelming it was hard to sing or play. That’s the kind of feeling I want when I hear this music and the fact that it wasn’t there in this recording I really felt sad. Admittedly I’m going through a tough time in my life right now, and there is a lot of sadness anyhow. I look to this music and church music in general as well as scriptures and prayer to a sense of peace and assurance.
Bottom line on this recording, the soloists and the organ are wonderful and would give them three stars, but I’m really disappointed in the lack of warmth and feeling from the choir, I’d be happy with less perfection and more passion and feeling.
The recording was worth the long two-year wait. I wasn't a big fan of the Choir's recording of the Messiah in the 1990s. I wasn't disappointed with this recording. All the benefits of a huge choir where you'd want that power, but a precise, yet warm sound for all the rest. Even though I pre-ordered the album,
Love it, love it, love it!! My new favorite recording of Messiah. The soloists sing with emotion and commitment, the choir is so unified and expressive, and the Orchestra at Temple Square knocks it out of the park. But this recording isn't meant to showcase the choir or the soloists or the orchestra. It's all about the music and its message, and that comes across in abundance. Bonus DVD is a winner, too. Rolando Villazon got it exactly right--when you combine musical excellence with faith and love, the end result is so powerful.