℗ © 2013 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin Under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon & Decca Classics, U.S., a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
America’s best-loved choir meets the world’s favourite bass-baritone: Bryn Terfel and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir join forces in an inspiring survey of classical, spiritual, Welsh and American folk songs. Many of the original Mormon Pioneers included Mormons hailing from Wales – a connection that Bryn makes through music and song on this popular vocal and choral programme. Recorded in Salt Lake City in May 2013, this will thrill classical audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. This album features spectacular new arrangements from the pen of the award-winning MTC Musical Director Mack Wilberg, and also features special guests Tamara Mumford and Sissel Kyrkjebo. The repertoire is drawn from American spirituals, Welsh favourites, sacred arias, popular hymns and the world of musicals.
In 1849, a group of Welsh pioneer immigrants headed west from Iowa across the American prairie, passing the time, as the Welsh do so naturally, with singing. Led by John Parry, a minister and musician from Newmarket (now Trelawnyd) in North Wales, the music charmed and enchanted their fellow travellers, who promptly asked where this group had learned to sing and who had taught them. “The hills of Wales were the schoolhouse,” came the proud reply, “and the Spirit of God was the teacher.”
Their eventual destination was a remote frontier settlement in the Great Salt Lake Valley, deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Soon after arriving there, Parry was asked to formally organize the ad hoc group into a more permanent ensemble. And so this band of Welsh singers, with Parry as their director, formed the nucleus of what would become the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. More than a century and a half later, the celebrated Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel retraced, in a sense, Parry’s journey from the green hills of North Wales to Salt Lake City. And, though Bryn’s career takes him all over the world, this particular excursion was singular. On his visit to Utah in the spring of 2013, Bryn brought with him those very gifts that Parry’s Welsh singers had carried with them to the same place so many years ago: a love of music, a powerful strength of spirit, and a heritage to celebrate in song.