For their 1989 festival, the committee of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir invited Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to join the Choir and the Utah Symphony Orchestra under maestro Julius Rudel. The choice of repertoire remained open and Dame Kiri selected a highly appropriate program of inspirational works that she could share with the choir and its international audience.
It was not surprising that, within hours, every one of the 6000 seats in the Tabernacle had been taken, and the overflow from this capacity audience had to be accommodated in the large Assembly Hall next door. Fortunately the concerts were also broadcast by a local radio station and a television crew video-taped the event for future network presentation. The two concerts of 23rd and 24th February were recorded and there was an additional recording session later so that individual items could be ‘topped and tailed’ to remove the enthusiastic applause and any other unwanted ‘audience participation’ that might intrude upon enjoyment of the finished recording.
The music seems tailor-made for Dame Kiri’s cream-and-honey vocalising and the two rarities – by Beethoven and Franck – nicely balance the popular nature of the rest of the program.
J. STRAUSS II: Nuns’ Chorus
GOUNOD: O Divine Redeemer
VERDI: Chorus of the Hebrew slaves
MENDELSSOHN: Hear My Prayer
BACH/GOUNOD: Ave Maria
MASCAGNI: Easter Hymn
FRANCK: Psalm 150
MENDELSSOHN: On Wings of Song
TRAD.: Come, Come, Ye Saints
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: You’ll Never Walk Alone
BISHOP: Home Sweet Home
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: Climb Ev’ry Mountain
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
(Jerold Ottley, music director)
Utah Symphony Orchestra
Recording producer: Paul Myers
Recording engineers: James Lock, John Pellowe
Tape editor: Nigel Gayler
Recording location: Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 1989 (Live Recording)