There’s no better time than Christmas to gather with friends and loved ones, reflect on the true message of the season, and in word, thought, and music offer up our own “Hallelujahs” to the One whose birth we celebrate. These wonderful recordings feature Laura Osnes, Martin Jarvis, and Metropolitan Opera soloists performing memorable Christmas music including a segment with excerpts from and narration about Handel’s Messiah. The Hallelujah CD and Hallelujah DVD can help you make Messiah part of your Christmas.
In December 2015, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square joined with Broadway star Laura Osnes, acclaimed British actor Martin Jarvis, and four distinguished soloists from New York’s Metropolitan Opera—Erin Morley, Tamara Mumford, Ben Bliss, and Tyler Simpson—to help usher in the Christmas season with praise through music. Singers, instrumentalists, and dancers drawn from the local community also joined in the visual and musical spectacle, thrilling the combined capacity audience of over 60,000 in the Conference Center at Temple Square.
In this live recording from those concerts, the focus on the Savior’s birth rings out in Osnes’s heartfelt singing of “O, Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and a medley of celebratory “bell” carols. Her tender rendition of “The Secret of Christmas” reminds us that love and compassion are not seasonal, but year-round. The Choir joins in with beloved carols from the distant (and not so distant) past, including “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” “Fum, Fum, Fum!,” the gentle “Wexford Carol,” and Ryan Murphy’s brisk new arrangement of “Over the River and through the Wood.”
At the heart of this concert is a dramatic retelling of the story behind the composition and rst performances of Handel’s celebrated oratorio Messiah. With arias performed by the Metropolitan Opera soloists and choruses drawn from the oratorio, Martin Jarvis narrates a compelling tale of Handel’s personal struggles and triumphs. This stirring account chronicles as well the oratorio’s underlying message of the liberating in uence of true charity, a moral already apparent in the work’s early history. The glorious music from Messiah also gures in Richard Elliott’s virtuosic organ solo—another beloved tradition at these concerts—culminating again in a majestic chorus of “Hallelujah!”