- DVD Bonus Disc
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has long been associated with traditional performances of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah," which are characterized by massive choral and orchestral forces and weighty interpretations of this popular oratorio. However, while there are no drastic stylistic revisions in the choir's 2016 release of "Messiah," and it is decidedly not a period recreation, some aspects of historically informed practice have influenced this reading by Mack Wilberg, particularly in the use of a harpsichord continuo, fairly brisk tempos, clearly articulated choral parts, and a relatively light ensemble sound. Featuring the voices of soprano Sonya Yoncheva, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor Rolando Villazón, and bass Bryn Terfel, this performance also has the "star quality" that Handel encouraged in his recruitment of international singers. Still, even with the increased awareness of authentic Baroque practices and Handel's varied performance history, this "Messiah" retains much of the standard conventions: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is still a huge choir, and in such powerful numbers as "For Unto Us a Child is Born," "Glory to God," and "Hallelujah," the orchestration is reinforced with woodwind and brass doublings to sufficiently balance the voices. Additionally, the highly resonant acoustics of the Temple give the choir and orchestra a "bigger than life" ambience which obscures any attempt at a streamlined effect. Purists will pass this recording by, but fans of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir may welcome the subtle changes.