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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 15, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 14Dec00

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 website. However another review takes issue with the album, calling it "over-produced."

The 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


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A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas
More about "A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas" at

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