Magazine article The American Organist

The Wonder of Christmas

Magazine article The American Organist

The Wonder of Christmas

Article excerpt

THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir; the Orchestra at Temple Square; the Bells on Temple Square; Craig Jessop and Mack Wilberg, conductors; John Longhurst, clay Christiansen, Richard Elliott, organists; soloists Renée Fleming, Angela Lansbury, Audra McDonald, Frederica von Stade, and Bryn Terfel; guest conductor Walter Cronklte. Recorded at the Conference Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Mormon Tabernacle Choir® CFN 0609-2; www.mormontabernaclechoir.org or www.amazon.com. This state-of-the-art recording of "America's Christmas Choir(TM)" includes excerpts from performances given between 2001 and 2005. The Christmas at Temple Square concerts claim to be a "preeminent North American Christmas music event," and rightly so. Familiar sacred and secular holiday melodies are richly dressed in full-fledged orchestral arrangements by Mack Wilberg, Barlow Bradford, Michael Davis, Arthur Harris, and Lex de Azvedo. They take full advantage of the large orchestra, organ, and chorus, all on a grand scale. Full of glitz and glitter, the arrangements are nevertheless artistically creative and musically substantive. The star-studded cast of soloists lends their distinctive voices to the mix. The choir delivers its signature sound, unrivaled for its luster. The 360-voice ensemble is well trained, with a disciplined, focused, energized vocalism that is remarkable for its superb intonation, diction, and blend of color. …

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