By Kent Larsen
MoTab Christmas Album Called Their Best Ever
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Reviews of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's
latest Christmas album call it the choir's best Christmas album ever
-- out of more than 20 that the group has recorded since 1945. The
album, called "A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas," was released
recently by the Telarc label, and is reviewed positively in the Salt
Lake Tribune and on the Amazon.com website. However another review
takes issue with the album, calling it "over-produced."
The Amazon.com review was most positive, saying that none of the
Choir's previous albums are finer than this one. The albums
arrangements, all done by associate conductors Mack Wilberg and
Barlow Bradford, are "lush" says Ted Libbey in the Amazon review, and
the Choir's singing is "magnificent" Libbey adds. He is also
impressed with the Orchestra at Temple Square, which accompanies the
Choir on this album, in only its second recording effort.
Jeff Manookian in the Salt Lake Tribune also praises the album,
saying that new Choir director Craig Jessop "has his army of singers'
ensemble so tight that even a 12-voice professional chamber choir
could not compete. Diction is flawlessly executed. Timbres are
electrifyingly wrought. And intonation is second to none." Manookin
is also impressed by the technology used to produce the album, a new
system called Direct Stream Digital, and he says the results are
"Cutting edge. As good as it gets."
But Lawrence B. Johnson, the Detroit News' music critic says that the
album is just too big. "Take the simple, hearty carol "Masters of
This Hall." The Mormons' outsized sound and the arranger's mounting
excess turn it -- like so much else here -- into a rhapsody that
might slip right into the soundtrack from Gone With the Wind."
Jazz With a Different Spin and Gargantuan Christmas Tunes From Tabernacle Choir
Salt Lake Tribune 10Dec00 A1
By Jeff Manookian
Celebrate Christmas with a classical touch
Detroit MI News 11Dec00 A2
By Lawrence B. Johnson / Detroit News Music Critic