|March 29, 2014||
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir delivers a mixed Bach B minor Mass
After hearing the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and Artistic Director Noel Edison last Wednesday night, it was a mixed success. It was a nuanced approach, with a special focus upon subtlety and the withholding certain melodic passages that Edison felt needed to whisper rather than call out. At other times, Edison didn't hesitate to push the choir forth and allow it to chime like carillon bells over the streets of Bach's mid-eighteenth-century Leipzig.
From the stabbing consonants of its Kyrie, through the stirring syncopation of its Credo, Edison did a fine job of maintaining a singular thread uniting the work.Read the full review online
|March 27, 2014||
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performs Bach's 'Mass in B Minor' at Koerner Hall
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s concert of Bach’s “Mass in B Minor” on March 26, 2014 at Koerner Hall was like the Titanic: it took a little bit of time to get her feet moving but once she did, she was unstoppable. The TMC’s performance was also drastically different than the Titanic’s in that the former didn’t hit any icebergs, but rather sailed off into the sunset in a sound that kept ringing long after conductor Noel Edison cued the stop.Read the full review online
|February 2, 2014||
TMC Choral Conductors' Symposium wraps up with free concert
When voices can sound as good as they do with the Elora Festival Singers and the Mendelssohn Singers, it's easy to see why people believe in God.
On Feb. 1, 2014, the two choirs sang a programme of 19 songs led by seven different conductors: EFS/Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Artistic Director Noel Edison and Associate Conductor Caron Daley, and five student conductors taking part in the fourth annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium (Renata Dworak, Jeffrey Moellman, Sarah Morrison, Raymund Ocampo, and Zachary Thompson.)
The most appropriate word to describe the result was glorious.Read the full review
|January 31, 2014||
TMC successfully wraps up fourth Choral Conductors' Symposium
On Jan. 31, 2014, five conductors from all over North America wrapped a weeklong symposium at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, having intensely studied for five days under Noel Edison, conductor of the Elora Festival Singers and Toronto Mendelssohn choir.
When it came time to choosing the five conductors, Edison looked at their videos very closely and watched for signs of what he called "conducting DNA."
"I think the first thing is that all gesturing is very natural. It's not awkward, it's not looking like a robot, it's not school teacher-ish ( pantomimes conducting in 4/4 on every beat)—it's like a ballet dancer. And if the expression, the physical expression, and the whole inner musical thinking is connected with the body, then the physical arm and hand gesturing will be very natural.
"Choirs or orchestras sing or play what they see."Read the full article
|January 16, 2014||
Toronto’s flagship Mendelssohn Choir continues to diversify with community singing, webcasts
This week the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has quietly released the results of its latest annual general meeting. But the rest of what the city’s oldest choral society does is not so quiet.
The last few years have not been the easiest for the organization, founded in 1894. It shared space and many concerts for three-quarters of a century with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra — first at Massey Hall, then at Roy Thomson Hall.
The Mendelssohnians sang in Carnegie Hall in 1907 — well before there even was a permanent Toronto Symphony Orchestra.Read the full article online
|January 14, 2014||
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Conductors' Symposium gearing up to big start
For the past three years, one of Toronto's- nay, one of Canada's-largest choral organizations has put on a weeklong symposium to find and nurture the next generation of conductors because, in their own words, "At the head of every successful choral organization is a skilled conductor."
This year, in their fourth annual TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is set to embark on an intensive series of workshops and masterclasses from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1 where five conductors have been selected to study under the tutelage of Noel Edison.Read the full article online
|December 19, 2013||
Battle of the Messiahs: Toronto Symphony wins this round
Will the 10,000 people who go hear the show at Roy Thomson Hall get the better or worse experience than the 6,800 at Koerner and Massey halls? It’s long been a seesaw battle.
Based on the Toronto Symphony’s first Messiah performance on Tuesday night and Tafelmusik’s on Wednesday, it’s the former that has a slight edge in 2013.
First-time visiting conductor Christopher Warren-Green did a remarkable job of teasing out impressive details from Handel’s music — using less than three-dozen members of the TSO set against the 140 members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.Read the full review online
|December 18, 2013||
Concert review: This could be the Toronto Symphony’s best Messiah so far this century
Tuesday’s first performance of the Toronto Symphony’s five-concert run of Handel’s oratorio Messiah at Roy Thomson Hall was that rare beast: a triumph from brisk Overture to rousing Amen.
This interpretation has it all: great soloists, a lean, expressive orchestra, superb choir and a cohesive performance approach from a veteran British conductor making his Toronto Symphony début.Read the complete review online
|December 13, 2013||
Messing with Messiah
Noel Edison, artistic director of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir says he has no problem with unconventional approaches to The Messiah but, when he leads his singers on their five days with the TSO’s program, he is strictly on the side of tradition.
“I’m too conservative,” Edison admits. Besides, he says, it doesn’t need embellishment. Handel “has so intimately, honestly and elegantly placed the text with the music, that it comes alive.”Read the full review online
|November 19, 2013||
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and guests make magic of Benjamin Britten cantatas
Here’s a suggestion: If you go to one choral concert other than Messiah this season, make it the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s brilliant tribute to Benjamin Britten on Wednesday evening.
Tuesday night’s dress rehearsal at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church revealed not only a compelling, deeply affecting programme, but wonderful performances from the Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, orchestra, pianists, organist and, last but far from least, soloists tenor Colin Ainsworth and soprano Leslie Bouza.
Mendelssohn Choir music director Noel Edison chose two cantatas to showcase the composer’s genius for writing potent music drama for all ages and abilities: The Company of Heaven, created for BBC Radio in 1937, and Saint Nicolas, commissioned for the centennial of Lancing College but premiered at Aldeburgh in 1948.Read the complete review online.
|November 1, 2013||
TSO's Carmina Burana a thrilling Halloween Musical Fare
I must give my highest praise to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, surely a national treasure. Every time I see them, I always think - "they've outdone themselves this time." And then the next time I see them, I want to say the same thing.Read the complete review online
|October 31, 2013||
Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Carmina Burana raises Roy Thomson Hall roof
The feature draw was an all-stops-pulled performance of Carl Orff’s modern classic from 1936, Carmina Burana. The Toronto Symphony was joined by 116 members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, three-and-a-half-dozen young voices of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Romanian-born soprano Valentina Farcas, American tenor Nicholas Phan and Canadian baritone James Westman.
Music director Peter Oundjian led a nicely modulated, clearly laid-out interpretation that offered a full, rich orchestral sound, remarkable precision from the choristers and a running narrative of viscerally engaging rhythms. The fortissimo passages were taken all-out, threatening to raise the hall’s circular roof a couple of times during the evening.Read the complete review online
|May 24, 2013||
An invigorating performance: Missa Solemnis in D Major
Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis doesn’t come around often enough, a fact that prevents it from becoming stale - and all the more reason to welcome it when it does get programmed. This was the final program this season presented under the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s own auspices, which I suspect is why the full complement of 122 singers was used. This turned out to create an acoustic overload in the 1100-seat hall, the effect of which was exhilarating most of the time.Read the complete review online
|May 23, 2013||
TSO, Mendelssohn choir and soloists give Brahms his due
And fittingly, Toronto’s Mendelssohn Choir, fresh off a performance of the Missa Solemnis just a week ago, provided the backbone of the TSO performance of the German Requiem. The chorus is part of the Requiem for almost its entire 70-minute length, and with the preparation of Noel Edison and under the direction of Peter Oundjian, the choir was outstanding – flexible, subtle, powerful, overwhelming. It portrayed the complete emotional range that Brahms lavished on this work, from Lutheran chant to tortured fugue, to lyrical hymn, to joyous celebration.Read the complete review online
|May 23, 2013||
Concert Review: TSO speaks a little too softly with Brahms’s A German Requiem
Softness reigned at the start, of course, as the violas and cellos traced their lines with the audio equivalent of a dotted line and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir whispered “Selig sind” with the utmost intimacy. There were sturdy fugues and stirring outbursts to come, but the 145 choristers as prepared by Noel Edison made their effect more with quiet expression than with force.Read the complete review online
|May 22, 2013||
Concert review: Toronto Symphony Orchestra fails to transcend minutiae in Brahms German Requiem
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, out in full force, sang with its characteristic mix of subtlety, power and precision. The Toronto Symphony players (with woodwinds and brass on risers, all bizarrely crammed into one corner of the stage with the piano, organ console and harp) were in great form.Read the complete review online
|May 17, 2013|| Concert Review: Toronto Mendelssohn Choir keeps Missa Solemnis light, when perhaps it could have used more weight
Every season the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir undertakes a Big One, or even a Really Big One, such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, presented Wednesday evening in Koerner Hall under the baton of Noel Edison. It was a clear-headed and articulate performance that lacked something in Missa Solemnity.
|May 16, 2013|| Hats off to the Mendelssohn Choir for tackling Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis
It is notoriously difficult to perform. Which is why we should thank conductor Noel Edison, his Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Festival Orchestra, for having the courage to mount this important, if rarely heard, work. And by and large, on Wednesday evening the group of hundreds of musicians and singers acquitted themselves quite well.
|May 14, 2013|| Preview: Toronto Mendelssohn Choir wrestles with the beast that is Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis
On Wednesday night, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, soloists, orchestra and conductor Noel Edison perform one of the monuments of early 19th century choral music, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. The performance reminded me yet again of what a monster this piece is. Beethoven spent four years writing, finishing it in 1823 (he died in 1827).
|May 6, 2013||Solemnis Spirit
The Missa Solemnis is infused with the same spirit as the Ninth Symphony and other late period Beethoven – a musical expression of faith locked in combat with doubt. Extremes of mood convey an almost desperate sense of Beethoven’s desire to connect to the world around him. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is perhaps the only group in the region that can marshal the forces for such a mammoth work.
|April 5, 2013|| A wondrous variety
The 2013 Good Friday concert at St. Paul’s Basilica featured the Mendelssohn Singers, the 70-voice choir formed in 2003 from the ranks of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. As in previous Good Friday concerts, music from various eras was sung (in this case from the 16th to the 21st centuries) and once again the choir used various spaces within the church to wonderful effect.
|February 13, 2013||Matthew Halls leads Toronto Symphony in masterful Beethoven Ninth
Whatever it is that makes one of the most iconic pieces in the symphonic repertoire sound exciting, conductor Matthew Halls produced with the help of the Toronto Symphony, Mendelssohn Choir and soloists at Roy Thomson Hall on Wednesday night.
|February 13, 2013|| Toronto Symphony Orchestra captures original energy of Beethoven's Ninth
Matthew Halls conducts Beethoven’s Ninth for the first time in his career — and captures much of the excitement its first audience must have felt.
|February 9, 2013|| Toronto Mendelssohn Choir takes a luxurious view of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle
Gioachino Rossini would probably have barely recognized his Petite Messe Solennelle as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performed it on Saturday afternoon at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
|December 18, 2012||Toronto Symphony makes Messiah magic at Roy Thomson Hall
There was an audible, palpable buzz in the air after Tuesday evening’s first Toronto Symphony Orchestra performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. It was like going home after a pop concert.
|December 18, 2012|| TSO & Toronto Mendelssohn Choir: Concert review
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s gift to the city this season is a wonderfully shaped, gorgeously glowing performance of George Frideric Handel’s 1742 oratorio Messiah.
|December 15, 2012|| Hallelujah, it’s the Messiah: Choristers love to sing Handel’s oratorio
We asked six choir members to tell us how they keep this old Christmas chestnut fresh and why they commit so many hours to this one piece of music.
|November 15, 2012||Mendelssohn Choir's Carmina Burana Rocks Koerner Hall
The raw power of Karl Orff's popular masterpiece, Carmina Burana, made me ecstatic the first time I heard it on record quite a few years ago. Last night's performance at Koerner Hall by the Toronto Mendelssohn choir brought back that thrill and then some.
|November 14, 2012|| The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir vividly reminded its Koerner Hall audience on Tuesday night why Carmina Burana is one of the hits of 20th century music.
Artistic director and conductor Noel Edison led a performance of Orff's arrangement for two pianos and percussion, providing all the rhythmic force this composition needs, while softening the sound a bit at times with the rich harmonies of two concert grand pianos in their full glory.
|November 13, 2012||Preview: Carmina Burana makes for vivid night of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir song at Koerner Hall
If Tuesday night's dress rehearsal is any indication, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's Wednesday performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana should make for a powerful evening of music.
|November 2, 2012|| La vida breve review: Opera packs a lot of red-blooded emotion
It packs the heat of emotion, the heat of great singing and the heat of music performed with utter conviction. The first performance on Thursday night was one of the great concerts of the year.
|November 2, 2012|| TSO polishes Spanish Operatic Gem to perfection.
Through all the conventions of the modern symphony-going experience – the frantic drive through downtown traffic, the last-minute rush to the washrooms, the musicians filing on stage dressed for a funeral, the rustling, coughing cacophony – through all this, art broke through. The real thing. Like a brilliant burst of the sun – warm, bright, exhilarating. Doesn't happen all the time.
|November 1, 2012|| Concert review: Toronto Symphony makes fiery work of Manuel de Falla's opera La vida
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra was on fire — as were its many guests, including a substantial contingent from the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
|October 23, 2012|| Toronto Choir sings with Streisand
CTV News story about Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's singing back-up vocals for the Barbra Streisand concert at the Air Canada Centre.
|June 23, 2012||Concert Review: Last Night of the Proms
Bramwell Tovey held forth with his usual bracing wit and easy expertise (including silky work at the piano) and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was in hearty form. Soprano Laura Whelan and baritone James Westman did their jobs (with microphones).
|June 18, 2012||TSO conquers Mahler's mountain of a symphony
I didn't count the performers assembled for the TSO's latest ascent, but they covered the stage, filled the choir lofts and spilled into the upper side balconies.
|June 14, 2012|| Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Mahler big, bold and rough-hewn
Nothing in the symphonic world says Big quite like Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8, popularly known as the "Symphony of 1,000." It's a special treat to be able to hear it live in these times of rampant downsizing.
|June 14, 2012||Concert Review: TSO presents Mahler's Eighth Symphony
Strong start, fab finish. All conductors strive for both, most pray for the latter. Destiny favoured Peter Oundjian in this respect at least on Wednesday as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra undertook Mahler's Eighth Symphony in Roy Thomson Hall.
|May 24, 2012||
Concert review: Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at Koerner Hall
|May 23, 2012||A blazing choral treat
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir ended its 117th season with a concert featuring vibrant mid-20th-century masterworks.
|May 22, 2012||
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's end of season concert promises a musical high.
|April 17, 2012||Epic choral works, talents come to the stage
When Noel Edison and John Relyea did a show together years ago at the Elora Festival, one was the front end of the cow, the other the back. When they link up at Koerner Hall on May 23, Edison will be conducting the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in a program of three epic choral works. Relyea, a Metropolitan Opera star, will be singing Belshazzar's Feast.
|April 9, 2012||Sacred Music for a Sacred Space: an opportunity to compare two masses composed at the same time (1921/22)|
|Jan 4, 2012||Unseen City: Roy Thomson Hall|
|Dec 16, 2011||Tafelmusik the victor in this year's Messiah duel|
|Dec 15, 2011||Toronto Symphony Messiah elegant but lacking in emotional power|
|Nov 10, 2011||The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Koerner Hall are a match made in heaven
and the concert called A Night of Brahms was inspired music.
|Oct 6, 2011||Dramatic and powerful choral music drawing younger audiences
Grand symphonic choruses, the staple of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for 116 years, are coming back into favour, says conductor and artistic director Noel Edison.
|Sept 22 , 2011|| Christopher Plummer moves audience in voice of many characters
No matter how old the music or the performer, a concert needs to feel like it's coming to life in the moment if it's going to move its audience.
|May 26, 2011|| Singing for the trill of it
I like to sing. So it seemed natural when I saw the listing in our online community calendar for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's Singsation event, where for 10 bucks you could come out and sing Gilbert and Sullivan. I knew I needed to go.
|May 12, 2011|| Toronto Mendelssohn Choir goes big and bold for Mozart
Mozart is one of those composers musicians look to for box-office safety. And Salzburg's famous son didn't let down the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) on Wednesday night: the choir's all-Mozart program filled the Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall to the rafters.
|April 22, 2011||Sacred Music for a Sacred Space: a wonderfully varied and thought-
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, founded in 1894, is one of the mainstays of Toronto's musical life.
|March 04, 2011||Mendelssohn Choir puts passion in Bach masterwork|
|December 18, 2010|| TSO's Messiah a toe-tapping modern take on a hallowed masterpiece
Sir Andrew Davis's orchestral tarting-up of Handel's Messiah, which premiered Thursday night at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall, is nothing if not sprightly.
|December 17, 2010||Messiah make-over is a lark
Thursday marked the premiere, in Roy Thomson Hall, of Handel's Messiah as orchestrated by Sir Andrew Davis. Either that or a heretofore undiscovered 18th-century edition of Babes in Toyland. Whatever it was, it made for an entertaining evening. Even if you say solemn prayers daily at the altar of authenticity, you need to hear one of the repeat performances (the last is Tuesday).
|December 17, 2010||Handel's Messiah
To say that Sir Andrew Davis' new arrangement of Handel's Messiah for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is eccentric is an understatement.
|December 17, 2010|| Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Messiah a modern dream come true
Toronto Symphony Orchestra music director emeritus, Sir Andrew Davis, has taken Messiah aside, given it a total makeover, and trotted it out in face-lifted glory, for all of Toronto to behold.
|December 8, 2010||
Voices of Christmas: pum, pum, prum, pum, pum, prum
|October 7, 2010|| Mendelssohn Choir brimming with rousing, diverse works
As it celebrates its 117th season, the Toronto Mendelsssohn Choir is not beyond learning new tricks. This grande dame of symphonic sound - Canada's oldest cultural institution - continues to add venues, themes, arrangements and voices to its presentation of rousing choral works.
|September 25, 2010||
TSO opens season with Mahler magic
|September 24, 2010||
TSO's rousing finale saves the concert
|April 5, 2010||Toronto Mendelssohn choir - Sacred Music for a Sacred Space
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's Good Friday concert, Sacred Music for a Sacred Space, was held at St. Paul's Basilica, one of the most beautiful churches in the city with wonderfully resonant acoustics.
|February 19, 2010||Verdi's Requiem: Music to put grief counsellors out of work
Simply put, this is one of the most soul-stirring evenings anyone is likely to have in town this season.
|February 01, 2010||Size matters, but soloists also shine
With an orchestra of 170, eight soloists and a chorus of 850 (350 of them children), the triumphant first performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 merited its title, "Symphony of a Thousand." Mahler may have felt the nickname belittled the composition, but there's no getting away from it: Size does define the symphony.
|January 31, 2010|| Mahler's magnificence evident in VSO's performance of Eighth Symphony
Under the direction of Bramwell Tovey, Saturday's reading had it all.
|December 18, 2009||Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Handel's Messiah
There is something fitting about arriving home from Israel in the morning and attending the TSO's Messiah in the evening. More to the point, there are many reasons to be joyous about this all-Canadian cast performance.
|December 17, 2009||There's cause to rejoice when Handel's Messiah returns
That George Frideric Handel's greatest oratorio, Messiah, is still enjoyed as much today as it was 267 years ago is a bit of a miracle. That Toronto consistently gets fine performances such as this one by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn Choir year after year is even more wonderful.
|November 13, 2009||Britten's Requiem remembers the lost and deplores the cost
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, though it had its first performance in Coventry Cathedral in 1961, is not really a religious work so much as a fiercely political pacifist theatre piece.
|November 12, 2009||A noble musical Remembrance
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and its approximately 200 vocal guests in the choir galleries found a way to mark Remembrance Day that was dignified, deep, meaningful and uplifting.
|October 28, 2009||Toronto Mendelssohn Choir blows the roof off of Koerner Hall
What a revelation to hear a GF Handel oratorio - not the Messiah - in its entirety. You rediscover what a genius composer Handel was.
|October 26, 2009||Thrills and Chills at Koerner Hall
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir provided a rich, brisk, often thrilling choral evening in George Frideric Handel's fierce, relatively brief biblical oratorio Israel in Egypt, Saturday night at the Royal Conservatory of Music's classy new Koerner Hall.
|October 26, 2009||Triumphant Opener for Mendelssohn Choir
It's hard to imagine that its Massey Hall debut could have been any better than its performance of George Frideric Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt at Koerner Hall on Saturday night.
|May 11, 2009||Musicians match power and passion of Elijah
The prophet Elijah was such an important figure in 9th century B.C.E. Middle Eastern history that he figures in Hebrew, Christian and Muslim scripture.
|May 11, 2009||A passionate delivery
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir gave the oratorio Elijah by their namesake a passionate delivery.
|March 23, 2008||Ken Winters Review
Bach's Mass in B minor is surely the loftiest and most elaborately conceived work of its kind ever written.
|Sept 21, 2007|| Pleasures within the limits of the middlebrow
The TSO's performance with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Canadian Children's Opera Company was always best when Orff was at his most robust.
|Sept 21, 2007||TSO lets the choirs sing
Hundreds of people arrayed on and around the stage Wednesday night to launch the Toronto Symphony Orchestra music season at Roy Thomson Hall did themselves proud
|May 13, 2007|| Rare performance hits the high notes - Globe and Mail Update
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir devoted the last concert of its current season to the music of Mendelssohn and Brahms.
|May 10, 2007|| Light bulb goes off for Edison
After meeting with the world's masters, musical director realized grass 'never greener anywhere else'