Michael Johnson, concertonet. This program by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was doubly unusual in that it presented a number of short choral works that rarely get the “big choir” treatment, plus the evening’s guest soloist was a pianist, in this case André Laplante, whose deeply thoughtful performance of six pieces helped fullfil the evening’s title German Romantics.
Noel Edison, now in his 19th season as TMC Artistic Director and Conductor, instigated the annual TMC Festival of Carols in the early years of his tenure. His goal has not wavered – to present a festive evening of celebration containing a wide variety of seasonal music from around the world, old and new, original compositions as well as arrangements.
TMC Artistic Director and Conductor Noel Edison has long loved the music of the German Romantics, believing that the heart is reached through the mind. He says, “Granted that some of this music was meant for the parlour rather than the concert hall, but it is all very melodic, well-constructed and was never denigrated by performance circumstances or location.” He believes that this rich, German Romantic choral repertoire should be performed by more of today’s choral ensembles.
The TMC is calling for choral composition submissions to its new Choral Composition Competition, an annual competition launched in August 2015. This competition focuses on works by emerging unpublished Canadian composers. Composers will be asked to submit an unpublished work for SATB or double choir, either a cappella or accompanied by piano or organ that is not more than 5 minutes in length. The deadline for submissions is November 13, 2015.
One of the joys of Christmas is its predictability. Every year, we associate the Christmas season with familiar images, tastes, activities, objects and sounds. Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge, Handel’s Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, roast turkey and cranberry sauce, mistletoe and eggnog…….. brass instruments and choral voices. They all provide a joyous, festive and warm mood to which we enjoy returning year after year.