Terfel and Choir Record for Deutsche Grammophon
Bryn Terfel, acclaimed Welsh bass-baritone opera and concert singer, walked out onto the stage of the Tabernacle on Tuesday for the first night of recording to an enthusiastic ovation from the members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. He hadn't yet sung a note, but with two previous appearances with the Choir, he was back among friends.
And so it went.
Terfel, who has performed for audiences all over the world in the most prestigious concert halls, came to Salt Lake to record a fall 2013 album with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for Deutsche Grammophon. As of press time, Terfel and the Choir were halfway through a week of recording sessions (four nights and all day Saturday), with 10 new arrangements by Mack Wilberg in the mix. Many of the songs have a distinctly Americana feel, including "Shenandoah," "Homeward Bound," and "Deep River."
A film crew accompanied Terfel to make a documentary about the recording and the Welsh ties to the Choir. The shared Welsh connection between the Choir and Terfel was one of the draws for the recording collaboration. Not only do many of the Choir members have Welsh ancestors, but the beginnings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are traced to Welsh immigrants, who settled in the Salt Lake Valley in the mid-nineteenth century. The recording will also explore the Welsh connection, with two tracks sung in Welsh.
Editor's Note: The news item from two weeks ago (see below) mentioned the long service as historian to the Choir organization by Josephine Foulger. We note with sadness her recent passing and express our condolences to her family. "God Be with You Till We Meet Again."