Classical

A Tradition For The Holidays

21 DEC 07 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER

Amid the annual glut of holiday releases, the impressive 360-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir can always be counted on to deliver enjoyable renditions of holiday favorites with their immaculate voices such as with A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas.

Christmas music has been an integral part of this amateur choir's repertory since its founding in 1847, and it's a tradition they carry forth with enthusiasm. The 2000 Telarc release, features arrangements by Mack Wilberg (an associate director) and Barlow Bradford performed by the Orchestra at Temple Square. Led by music director Craig Jessop, the singers' clear voices, crisp diction and subtle dynamic shadings are noteworthy in many selections on the disc, including the "Carol of the Bells" and the lively "Pat-a-pan." The well-blended male voices are impressive in the openings of "Masters in this Hall" and "The First Noel."

Other holiday staples on the disc include a rousing rendition of "Joy to the World" with Tabernacle organist John Longhurst and the gentle "Jesus, Jesus, Rest your Head." The disc, which is also available in SACD format, concludes with an evocative performance of "Silent Night" with tenor Robert Breault.