A night at Roy Thompson Hall to see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra may not sound like a theatre-goer’s ordinary evening plan, but the renowned orchestra’s renditions of classic musical theatre hits from Lerner and Loewe is just as magical as a night at the theatre. Legendary writing duo Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, a lyricist and composer respectively, have left an indelible mark on the musical theatre world with Broadway hits such as My Fair Lady and Brigadoon, as well as Oscar-winning film Gigi. All three of these works and more are on display at Roy Thompson Hall, with guest Canadian soloists and a one hundred-strong choir combining with the TSO for a stunning and altogether memorable concert.
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has done it again. Performed a concert splendidly, that is. Their performance on April 18, 2014 at St. Paul's Basilica was nothing short of magnificent, due in equal parts to the choir’s ability, the music selection, and the combination of power and restraint shown by them. They were led by conductors Noel Edison and Caron Daley, with organist Michael Bloss providing the instrumentals.
Program notes for Toronto Mendelssohn Choir concert on April 18, 2014 – Sacred Music for a Sacred Space – at St. Paul’s Basilica. Notes by music reviewer and lecturer Rick Phillips.
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.
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.
Program notes for Toronto Mendelssohn Choir concert on Mar 26, 2014 – Mass in B Minor – at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Notes by music reviewer and lecturer Rick Phillips.
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.
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."
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.