The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's latest album, "This Is The Christ," reached no. 1 on Billboard's Classical Overall chart this week. The album, which features songs and hymns focusing on the mission and messages of Jesus Christ, unseated the previous leader — "The Royal Wedding: The Official Album." That collection of music, related to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, is now at No. 2 on the chart.
In addition, the "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir" came in at No.3 this week. This album has appeared on the Billboard charts for 26 weeks.
"This Is The Christ," which also features the Orchestra at Temple Square, includes new recordings of such songs as "The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare," "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" and "Nearer, Dear Savior, to Thee;" as well as previously recorded favorites such as "O, Divine Redeemer," "God So Loved The World," "Come Unto Him" and "I Believe in Christ."
The idea, said Tabernacle Choir Director Mack Wilberg, was to bring the choir's favorite songs about Christ into one collection. It's meant to offer "inspiration, comfort and consolation to all those who love the Savior and his redeeming love," he said.
Over the past 100 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has recorded nearly 200 albums, with five gold records, two platinum records and a Grammy. "This Is the Christ" marks the 39th project to come out on the Choir's independently owned recording label.
At No. 4 and 5 on the chart are "Carmen: Duets & Arias," with Andrea Bocelli, Marina Domashenko, Eva Mei and Bryn Terfel; and "Son of Chamber Symphony," with John Adams.