The previous reviewer says it all, but I cannot help but register my amazement at the way the choral parts have been dubbed onto the orchestra. Salt Lake City is about 1500 miles from Cincinnati, but the listener would think everything was recorded in the one venue. I can understand overdubbing a solo voice, but an entire large choir, with such precision, seems incredible.
Towards the end of his life Miklos Rozsa laid out plans for concert suites from his music for "Ben-Hur", "Quo Vadis" and "King of Kings". Now suites existed but Rozsa wanted to incorprate the choral music from those scores that had been left out. Upon Rozsa's death in 1995 Christopher Palmer, who worked with Rozsa on the project, continued the work on the suites but he died before he could complete them. With the layout that Rozsa and Palmer left Daniel Robbins, Julian Kenshaw, Joseph Price and Erich Kunzel finnished the 3 suites. Kunzel here leads the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in spectacular performances of the suites that is truly a labor of love. Each of the suites is about 20 minutes long and includes choral and purely orchestral sections. Each also includes one of Rozsa's classic Roman marches. We do not know what the music the Roman Army marched to sounded like but I suspect that if they heard Rozsa's they would ditch whatever they were using. The 3 films cover the same subject area which caused Rozsa to use a similar style but it is amazing how individual and varied each is.The choral writing is often on a grand scale and what better for that than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There are also subtle parts here that they deftly handle. The wordless setting of the Lord's Prayer from "King of Kings" (the version with words was done for the soundtrack album)is truly moving.One of course cannot resist a smile at the gusto the Mormon's bring to the "Fertlity Hymn" from "Quo Vadis". The orchestra and choir were recorded seperately (in Cincinnati and Salt Lake City) and later mixed together. Such things are not uncommon in classical recordings. There are several recordings of thec Saint-Saens Organ Symphony (No.3)where organ and orchestra are miles apart. A recent recording of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder actually had in one place the vocal soloist and orchestra recorded seperately and later mixed together. At least Telarc is honest about it. The sound as expected from this label is appropriately spectacular giving full voice to Rozsa's magnificent music. Very detailed notes and a rather ingeneous album