The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is going all-out Easter this year. In addition to preparing to perform Handel's Messiah live and for an Internet audience, they are releasing an Easter mini-album to help foster the spirit of season.
There is a lot of Christmas music out there, but not a whole lot for Easter. Perhaps, it is because Christmas is actually celebrated for weeks, while Easter really just gets a weekend.
There are only six tracks on this album, but they are all excellent. Many of them have never been recorded by the Choir before, including the new arrangement of "Jesus Has Risen" and the reverent arrangement of "In the Garden" by Associate Director, Ryan Murphy. Here is the list:
1. Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
2. In the Garden
3. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
4. Jesus Has Risen
5. He Is Risen
6. Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain from Messiah
I especially loved "In the Garden", because there are so many hokey-sounding arrangements out there, but this one is both tender and reverent, and makes me imagine what it would be like to spend the day with the Savior.
"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" has always been one of my favorite Easter hymns, and I learned that it was innovative in its time for being a hymn not directly quoting from Biblical texts. I love that even though they are a large choir, they are able to do tender and powerful equally well. The performances are emotional and nuanced.
My favorite track, however, has to be "Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain", which is the final movement of Handel's Messiah. As a song of praise, it is dramatic, exciting, and completely joyful, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has the oomph behind it to realize this movement in a way that a sixteen voice chamber choir would not be able to.
If you would like to add this to your Easter collection, you can purchase it here: