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Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

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Album Review

The concept of the folk hymn may sound like an anachronism, but there were countless lay composers who gradually shaped the hymn books for different branches of the Christian faith, far beyond the work of the accepted giants of hymnody (from Charles Wesley to Martin Luther). The Mormon Tabernacle Choir salutes that great tradition with Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing: American Folk Hymns & Spirituals, a collection of 17 performances, most of which date back to the first half of the 19th century and have either traditional lyrics or musical basis in folk tunes (or both). Accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square, the choir reprises spirituals ("I Want Jesus to Walk with Me," "The Battle of Jericho," "Down to the River to Pray") as well as Southern harmony classics ("His Voice as the Sound," "My God, My Portion and My Love") and standard folk hymns ("Amazing Grace," "We'll Shout and Give Him Glory"). The set is anchored by the title song, which the Mormon Tabernacle Choir itself made increasingly popular ever since a mid-'90s arrangement by its musical director and conductor, Mack Wilberg, who's responsible for the majority of the arrangements here.

Biography

Formed: 22 August 1847 in Salt Lake City, UT

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '/0s, '00s, '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir made their public debut on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after Brigham Young and his 147 followers first settled in the Salt Lake Valley. John Parry was named the choir's first official conductor in 1849, and two years later, construction was completed on the first Tabernacle church, followed in 1867 by the dome-roofed Tabernacle facility which still exists. The 150-member choir assembled for the facility's October 6th opening was at that time the largest in the U.S.,...
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Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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