New Ears: Passio

This performance isn’t so much like watching the crucifixion of Jesus as being told the story of the crucifixion of Jesus by a crew of storytellers. So rather than seeing things happen, we are instead told “This happened and then this happened and then this happened and then this happened,” which felt a very dispassionate way of communicating a Passion. I appreciated this starkness and deliberateness. It felt like a respectful telling of a story that many of us might have grown up with, but wouldn’t be able to necessarily recite to someone ourselves. I liked that it didn’t demand an emotional investment from those in the audience who might not be believers, but instead presented a matter-of-fact telling of a usually melodramatic narrative.
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Categories: 2014-2015 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

Finding Enchantment in the Basilica: New Ears Report on Sacred Music for a Sacred Space

Parul “Koel” Bahuguna, New Ears Review: My ears, eyes and soul were sent to a magical place this Good Friday at the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s (TMC) Sacred Music for a Sacred Space concert which was held at the St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto. I must confess, before this experience, I had never had the pleasure of listening to any form of choral music let alone listening to it being performed live in a beautiful basilica. My expectations going into the concert were all about embracing the unknown. I had no idea what to expect or if I would enjoy choral music or not. I am also not Catholic or Christian so I was not sure if I would understand the references in the lyrics or generally relate to the songs. However, I did go into this concert knowing that I absolutely love music, love listening to different types of music and love attending live performances.
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Categories: 2014-2015 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

Unexpected Harmonies: A New Ears Review of the Choral Conductors’ Symposium Community Concert

This programme is a showcase of five emerging conductors who will conduct a variety of short pieces by different composers. Edison tells us that conducting is a lonely profession – it’s just you and the music, and you have to have the musical vision, the discipline and the people skills to bring the sheet music to life. This program has been sculpted around musical challenges for these conductors.
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Categories: 2014-2015 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

The New Ears Project: New Ears Listen to the Festival of Carols

New Ears Review of Festival of Carols 2014: There were three firsts for us: this was our first visit to Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, the first time we heard the Salvation Army's Canadian Staff Band, and the first time we were privileged to hear the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. All three were well worth the drive or subway trip, half way across the city, on one of Toronto's colder nights. We launched our New Ears reviews in November 2014, with the Mighty Rhino's review of Mozart and Haydn. In December, Naomi Craig, a Toronto-based author and researcher gave us her impressions of this year's Festival of Carols.
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Categories: 2014-2015 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.