A Vintage Compilation That Keeps on Ticking
Fred Hanke | Monrovia, CA United States | 01/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a teenager in the late '50s I used to attend the Tabernacle Choir's Thursday evening rehearsals after visiting my grandmother. Rehearsals were open to the public,the Tabernacle usually almost completely empty, J. Spencer Cornwall conducting the 375 voices with Alexander Schreiner at the organ---and me--front-row-center, being treated to an exclusive Music 101 experience of the Choir's signature "sound" what seemed for my benefit alone.
My very first Mormon Tabernacle Choir LP, album #ML4789, containing the present 20 compilations, has been treasured by me over the years, particularly because of Side 2, which introduced me to the choral masterpieces of Mendelssohn, Mozart, Wagner, Haydn, Beethoven and "Let the Mountains Shout for Joy" by Evan Stephens. But, my original LP along with my old Magnavox hi-fi eventually gave out. A few years ago I replaced my beloved LP with another used one and promptly transferred it to CD, few scratches and all.
The Russ Josephson discography website (www.josephsons.org/slmtc/) is an excellent source of research for this vintage compilation, which may provide some solace to the previous contributor regarding the sound. The compilation was originally recorded in 1949 as a 4-disc 78-rpm set with Volume II following in 1950 as a 3-disc 78-rpm set. A 10" LP and a 4-set 45-rpm were also released at the same time. Later, all tracks, except "Out of Silence", were reissued on my Columbia masterworks LP #4789, which, according to my research of the LP label, was between 1955 and 1960. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across this 2004 re-release.
Still a wonderful recommended recording. Three stars, however, not for the sound which is very much OK, but for the unbelievable omissions and errors of the CD liner notes, especially 4,6,8,10,15,18,19 and 20. Amazon is only a little better. Who are these geniuses who write these notes? I also wished the CD had kept the original order of play from the LP, Side One with Traditionals, and Side Two choral masterpieces (picky, picky). But, these minors aside, the CD preserves a simpler time when just organ and voices were enough to produced that special "Mormon Tabernacle sound."
Below is the correct description of the 20 tracks. Errors and/or omissions on CD and/or by Amazon are shown in parentheses:
1. O MY FATHER, Snow/McGranahan
2. GUIDE US,O THOU GREAT JEHOVAH, Williams/Hughes
3. FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, Faber/Hemy/Walton
4. O WORSHIP THE KING, Johann Michael Haydn
5. O GOD, OUR HELP IN AGES PAST, Watts/Croft
6. LIFT THINE EYES, from Mendelssohn's "Elijah"
7. NOW THE DAY IS OVER, Baring-Gould/Barnby
8. HAIL, BRIGHT ABODE, from Wagner's "Tannhaeuser"
9. HEAR MY SUPPLICATION, Alexandre Archangelsky
10. HALLELUJAH CHORUS, from Beethoven's "Christ on Mount Olives"
(Messiah Oratorio by Handel)
11. COME, COME YE SAINTS, Clayton/English folk song
12. ABIDE WITH ME, Hofford/Millard
13. PRAISE TO THE LORD, Neander/from Stralsund Gesangbuch, 1665
14. THE LORD'S PRAYER, B. Cecil Gates
(Albert Hay Malotte)
15. A MIGHTY FORTRESS, Martin Luther
(Johann Sebastian Bach)
16. NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD, Rinckart/Cruger
17. LET THE MOUNTAINS SHOUT FOR JOY, Evan Stephens
(Let the Mountain Shout for Joy, unknown)
18. JESU, WORD OF GOD INCARNATE, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Jesus, World of God Incarnate)
(Ave verum Corpus, motet or chorus K. 618)
19. ACHIEVED IS THE GLORIOUS WORK, Franz Joseph Haydn's "The Creation"
20. RISE! UP! ARISE!, from Mendelssohn's "St. Paul"