The Toronto Symphony Remembers…

Jeff Mitchell, Toronto Concert Reviews. (T)he Toronto premiere of an hour-long work entitled Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation, by Vancouver-based composer Jeffrey Ryan, with text by Canadian poet Suzanne Steele, who spent time with the Canadian Light Infantry in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2010.  Her “observations of a Canadian battle group’s road to war and that of their loved ones, before, during and after war”, as expressed through her vivid and graphic poetry, set the stage for the dramatic and visceral music composed by Ryan.  The work is written for orchestra, vocal soloists, as well as adult and children’s choruses. Each of the soloists were exceptional, singing music that was not as lyrical or melodic as one often hears in a requiem but that was, at turns, percussive, violent, plaintive and emotionally raw, even at its quietest moments.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra lifts war into art with Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation

John Terauds, Toronto Star. Art loves conflict and resolution, while the real world muddles along in the sludgy mass between the two. But art, carefully applied and administered as it was by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night, can lift that sludgy mass up and turn it into something almost as beautiful as neat resolution.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Symphony Remembers Afghanistan War With Deeply Moving Tribute

John Terauds, ludwig van Toronto. The second half of the program belonged to Ryan and Steele’s 60-minute Requiem, with full orchestra and four vocal soloists augmented by the always-excellent Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Toronto Children’s Chorus. Soprano Measha Brueggergosman, mezzo Allyson McHardy, tenor Colin Ainsworth and baritone Brett Poegato did excellent work with what was often difficult singing, bringing genuine emotion to the text.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Review: Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation

John Gilks, operaramblings. It’s a new piece by Jeffrey Ryan that sets lines from the Latin Requiem Mass combined with words by poet Suzanne Steele who joined up with the PPCLI on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.  So there are structural resemblances to the Britten work but whereas in the War Requiem we have a clear delineation between sections of the mass (for soprano and chorus) and Owen’s poetry (for the baritone and tenor), in Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation the two parts are blended and there’s an underlying narrative.  Generally, the Latin is given to the adult and children’s choruses and set quite lyrically while Steele’s words are given to the four soloists with generally more abrasive, sometimes atonal music and sometimes even, spoken.  Steele’s texts are redolent of the discomfort and danger and, sometimes, the essential pointlessness of the Afghanistan campaign.  There’s a longing for home and a sense of wonderment at Nature but never, thankfully, bogus nationalism or sentimentality.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Review: A Triple Concerto & A German Requiem with the TSO

Jenna Simeonov, Schmopera. The TMC sounded spectacular under the direction of Noel Edison, as did the solo singing by Braun and Wall - Wall in particular filled the Hall with her stunning soprano.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

TSO Gives Substance to Brahms Requiem Redux

Arthur Kaptainis, ludwig van Toronto. (The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir) of about 130 as prepared by Noel Edison furnished what a devout listener might call a firm foundation, confidently projected yet carefully balanced. The Mendelssohnians are about three-fifths female, and generally sound it, but there was no difficulty in hearing the gentlemen in Brahms’s fugues, which came across as urgent and stirring rather than academic. Words were admirably clear.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir announces 2017/18 season

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, under the direction of Artistic Director Noel Edison, will present four subscription concerts during 2017/18 and will perform a number of great orchestral choral works with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as they mark Peter Oundjian’s final season. The TMC is making two important changes for this season. Three of the concerts will now be performed on two nights. And, new subscription pricing means the more concerts patrons purchase, the more they save.
More

Categories: 2017-2018 Season and Media Releases.