Celebrate our extraordinary country with 23 patriotic standards from "America, the Beautiful" to "The Star Spangled Banner."
If you have a patriotic bone in your body, you'll find it hard not be stirred by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
's God Bless America
. This 69-minute collection offers 23 flag-waving standards, from "America the Beautiful" and "The Star Spangled Banner" to "Shenandoah" and "This Land Is Your Land." These 1970s recordings tend toward the bombastic, with backing by the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Symphonic Band, and Philadelphia Orchestra, but they don't sound overly dated, and there's also an intimate a cappella version of "When I First Came to This Land." Richard P. Condie and Jerold D. Ottley conduct, and baritone Robert Merrill
contributes two brief solos. Choral music aficionados might also enjoy the Mormons' 1991 recording, Songs from America's Heartland
. --David Horiuchi