Toronto Symphony 2018-2019 #5: Romantic Opulence and Worldly Pleasures

Ken Stephen, Large Stage Live!. The combined forces of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Youth Choir acquitted themselves magnificently throughout the cantata, from the majestic opening cry of O Fortuna to the rapid-fire yet still completely clear diction of In taberna quando sumus or Veni, veni, venias.  The steadiness of the tone was noteworthy and the choral blend across the full dynamic range was an unfailing delight.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Reviews.

Unlikely Pairing Of Orff And Korngold Hits The Spot In TSO Revival

Joseph So, ludwig van Toronto. From the downbeat of “O Fortuna” onwards, it was a sonic journey of extraordinary impact. Sometimes this piece can come across as a tad bombastic, but under Runnicles’s baton, it was plenty loud but never overdone. There were moments of subtlety, underscoring the inherent lyricism of the work. But at the climaxes, it was thrilling, thanks to the inspired playing by the TSO, notably the brass and the woodwinds. ... And what can I say about the three choirs, except that they are the best. It was headed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, surely a national treasure. The torrents of sounds were thrilling, full-bodied, incisive, rhythmically precise, exactly the way it should sound. The ending, a recap of the opening “O Fortuna,” was exhilarating, bringing the audience to its feet.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Reviews.

Pathways to the past with TSO Carmina Burana

Leslie Barcza, barczablog. I’ve heard a lot of versions of Carmina Burana and must recommend Runnicles’ distinctive interpretation. He connects the sections together rather than making big pauses, he pushes the tempi in the quicker passages, which is especially electrifying if you get your percussion & brass to opt for clear & crisp attacks. You won’t hear a better performance. This orchestra is in fine form coming towards the last few concerts of the year (this week & next). Credit too must go to David Fallis, who has the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir matching Runnicles’ requirements for clarity. The text was pristine, the dynamics sometimes beautifully restrained except in the big climaxes, so that the performance had more shape than usual (more than last time certainly). The soft singing still had great intensity, diction and consonants and energy but without being loud all the time. As a result? Extraordinary. If I could go see every concert this week, I would.
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Categories: 2018-2019 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir commissions new work from composer Andrew Balfour to help celebrate TMC’s 125th anniversary

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, under Interim Conductor David Fallis, has commissioned a new work from acclaimed Cree composer Andrew Balfour, to be premiered at the TMC’s 125th anniversary gala on October 20, 2019. The 10-minute work, titled Mamachimowin (The act of singing praises), will be a partial setting of Psalm 67 translated into Cree. It will be scored for SSATTB , violas, cellos and double basses. Of Cree descent, Winnipeg-based composer Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer, conductor, singer and sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Releases.