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Monday, December 3, 2012

Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Once Upon a Christmas - Review & {Giveaway!}

Every year the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square produce an amazing Christmas production.  In 2011 they created, once again, an awesome show to ring in the holiday season!  Called Once Upon a Christmas, 2011 brought two fabulous guests, Emmy-award winning actress Jane Seymour and operatic singer Nathan Gunn.  Filmed in the packed, 80,000 seat Conference Center on Temple Square, Conductors Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy enchant audiences with beautifully arranged music complete with song & dance.  It is not just a video, it is a full Christmas experience to delight young and old!

I was so blessed to receive several items to review and share with you!  First I received the 81 minute DVD.  Fifteen segments on the DVD delight you with music by MTC, handsome baritone Nathan Gunn (swoon!), narration by Jane Seymour, the Temple Square Orchestra, an incredible pipe organ performance (Kayley's favorite) by Richard Elliott (wow--there are 5 levels of keys, not to mention about 15 pedals!  How DOES he do that?), ballet dancers and folk dancers....and lets not forget that there was snow.

Yes, snow, in the conference center!
    DVD/Blu-ray Bonus Features
  • Go to the Conference Center soundstage and hear Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn describe their unique experiences in performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
  • Backstage with Jane Seymour
  • Backstage with Nathan Gunn
  • Choir Press Conference Excerpts with comments from Nathan Gunn, Jane Seymour, Mac Christensen and Mack Wilberg
The DVD currently retails for $22.48 and the Blu-ray for $26.98 on DeseretBook.com.


I also received the CD (which my hubby, who is a big fan of MTC promptly confiscated!) The 14-track CD includes live recordings from the full concert.  A 15th bonus track includes the narration by Jane Seymour based on the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas. 

Total Running Time is 71 minutes.
CD currently retails for $17.08.
    CD Track List
  1. Deck the Hall
    Choir and Orchestra
  2. Processional: Sing Forth This Day
    Featuring Jane Seymour, Choir, Orchestra, and Bells
  3. In dulci jubilo
    Nathan Gunn with Choir and Orchestra
  4. Sing Lullaby
    Nathan Gunn with Orchestra
  5. Domine fili unigenite, from Gloria
    Choir and Orchestra
  6. Mighty Lord, and King All-Glorious, from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
    Nathan Gunn with Choir and Orchestra
  7. Ah! Dearest Jesus, from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
    Choir and Orchestra
  8. And God Said: The Day Shall Dawn, from King David
    Choir and Orchestra
  9. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
    Nathan Gunn with Choir and Orchestra
  10. A Wintry Mix: Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, Let It Snow!
    Nathan Gunn with Choir and Orchestra
  11. Shepherds' Dance
    Richard Elliott
  12. Good King Wenceslas
    Featuring Jane Seymour, Choir, Orchestra, and Bells
  13. Silent Night
    Nathan Gunn with Choir and Orchestra
  14. Luke 2: The Christmas Story
    Jane Seymour and Orchestra
  15. Angels, from the Realms of Glory
    Featuring Nathan Gunn, Choir, Orchestra, and Bells


Deseret Book also treated us to the over-sized picture book Good King Wenceslas retold by Jane Seymour and illustrated by Omar Rayyan!  The book includes an 18 minute DVD of Jane Seymour, the choir and dancers telling the story of Good King Wenceslas.  The illustrations are gorgeous and the message is clear.  Christmas is a time of giving.   I have heard the song Good King Wenceslas but I had no idea what the lyrics actually said or what they meant.  Throughout the book historical facts behind the story are included that share with the reader the history behind St. Stephen's day, what it was like to be a page boy or live in a mideaval castle, and how Christmas was celebrated in the middle ages.
 
One snowy evening, when the rest of the kingdom is reveling in a celebratory feast, a king and his faithful page venture out to deliver food, wood, and comfort to a poor peasant family. "Good King Wenceslas" is the beloved Christmas carol that relates this tender story, and it is brought to life in this book and DVD by actress Jane Seymour and artist Omar Rayyan. The sumptuous illustrations reflect the medieval setting of this tale, capturing the lavish Feast of St. Stephen at the castle and the arduous trek through heavy snow to a humble cottage deep within the forest. The original lyrics to the song, set to music more than 150 years ago, are interwoven throughout the story. The actions of the kind, humble Bohemian king reflect the invitation of another King to follow in His footsteps, bringing the blessings of Christmas to all of His kingdom.

With a lovely introduction by Jane Seymour and the gorgeous illustrations this book will become a treasure during the Christmas season.  I know it will be added to our annual Christmas books!


Good King Wenceslas currently retails for $19.79 in hardback with DVD.



Now for the fun part!  I have an opportunity to giveaway a copy of Once Upon a Christmas the CD to one lucky reader!  Sign up using the rafflecopter below.  Giveaway ends Friday night, December7th at midnight.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received this Christmas Medley from Deseret Book free of charge in exchange for an honest review...All opinions expressed herein are my very own!   THANK YOU DeseretBook!

34 comments:

  1. My favorite is "O Come O Come Emmanuel"

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  2. My favorite carol is "O Holy Night" or "I Saw Three Ships"

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  3. I like Deck the Halls because everyone is so uplifted when they sing along to that one!

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  4. Away in the Manager is my fav!!!Thanks so much for a chance to win!!!

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  5. Hi - I have so many favorites but I really like "What Child is This"
    Thanks!

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  6. It's hard to pick a single favorite. I'll say it's "O Holy Night". Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

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  7. Silent Night

    Bud Lisa samson - rc form name

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  8. michelle gilliland mcafeeDecember 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    May did you know is my favorite. Thank you.

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  9. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is my favorite.

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  10. I hear the Bells on Christmas Day
    coupons dot guerin at gmail dot com

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  11. i like O Holy Night and What Child Is This

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  12. My favorite is "I Wonder As I Wander"

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  13. Go Tell It on the Mountain!

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  14. In choir at church we sang, "Baby, What You Going To Be?" and it is like my #1 favorite but I never ever hear it other than when we sang it there a few years in a row

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  15. I just don't know! I like so many. Currently my kids are stuck on Away in a Manager, so that's definitely the one I hear most often.

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  16. My favorite Christmas carol is "Carol of the Bells." - Thank you! - Kris D.

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  17. "O Holy Night" has always been my favorite. "Angels We Have Heard On High" is a close second.

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  18. I love "oh Holy Night"

    creativesouthernhome at gmail

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  19. Silent Night
    cluelessme8@hotmail.com

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  20. Angels We Have Heard On High

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  21. Silent Night. When I was a new mom, I used to sing it to my oldest son because he liked to be rocked for hours. I had a short repertoire of kids songs and resorted to Christmas carols, haha.

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  22. I love so many- but one I especially love is "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day".

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