New Twist on an Old Classic: Christmas Music for Easter Sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Presents “Messiah” for Easter including 2 CD/DVD Set

Apart from the usual carols and trees, one of the staple ingredients in the Christmas mix is usually the Messiah – a universally loved Christian composition from none other than the great George Frideric Handel.  However, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is moving away from the normal Christmas tradition and has decided to present the Messiah for Easter, albeit, on a much grander scale.

The massive choir sang the cherished composition for Easter and is sharing it in many ways that can only be rivaled by the world’s largest music corporations.

The Choir began by releasing a double-CD recording of the Messiah at the start of the month. The double-CD edition even contains a reworked version, which was recorded by the choir’s own Mack Wilberg.

The Choir also uploaded a Virtual Hallelujah Chorus on to YouTube about a week from the release of the double-CD. The video was made by editing in 2,500 individual submissions of people from all over the world singing various parts of the composition such as the tenor, alto, soprano, and bass.

Performances were also arranged for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which saw seats being filled completely. The Good Friday performance was also live streamed and will be made accessible by demand up until the 4th of April.

The original Messiah performance was said to have not more than 60 members handling both, the orchestra and the chorus. At present, experts state that the composition has been covered by a significantly larger number of performers, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir recently being added to the list.

Teresa M. Neff, a musicologist at the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, stated that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was just following a tradition of performing the Messiah with “large forces.”

However, she added that this particular performance was the largest so far. The Handel and Haydn Society itself sticks to the original 60 member count for its own performances of the Messiah.

Though the Messiah is often performed during Christmas, Wilberg stated that it was equally fitting for Easter. He justified his statement by mentioning that the composition was first released during the Easter month of April in 1742 at Dublin and that the overall theme of the composition dealt with Christ’s crucifixion and sacrifice rather than his birth, which shares a far greater relevance with Easter.

The many renditions of the Messiah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir can be experienced on their website, www.mormontabernaclechoir.org.

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