The Challenge of Remembrance

Ken Stephen, Large Stage Live! The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has stirred the pot to thought-provoking effect in a remarkable Remembrance Day online concert entitled Notinikew (Going to War) – a Program of Remembrance. This programme, guest-curated by Winnipeg-based indigenous composer Andrew Balfour, swept away Remembrance Day's more conventional expressions of heroism and sacrifice, and forced the audience to confront difficult truths that cut uncomfortably close to home.
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Categories: 2020-2021 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Honours Indigenous Veterans In A Remembrance Day Streamed Program

BWW News Desk. Toronto Mendelssohn Choir honours and remembers Canada's Indigenous Veterans in a Remembrance Day streamed multi-disciplinary program. The TMC, under conductor Simon Rivard, is joined by composer and guest curator Andrew Balfour, and Elder Dr. Duke Redbird for a program that brings together choral music, poetry and dance. The centre piece of the program is Andrew Balfour's Notinikew. Movements of the work will be sung by Andrew's Winnipeg-based Camerata Nova and by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
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Categories: 2020-2021 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir sings glorious songs of Thanksgiving

Ken Stephen, Large Stage Live. On Saturday night, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir premiered what is undoubtedly the most intricate virtual concert I've yet seen. Over a 50-minute span, the Choir presented music ranging from Bach to the present day, and across a geographic span that extended from Canada to Liverpool, and from Leipzig to the south of India. Even more striking, this performance incorporated both visual art creation and dance alongside music -- and dance in a style that cannot have been familiar to many in the online audience.
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Categories: 2020-2021 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Names New Associate Baton

Michael Vincent, Ludwig Van Toronto. Montréal-born conductor Simon Rivard has been appointed Associate Conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Named as one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”, Rivard was mentored by Valery Gergiev at the Verbier Festival (2018).
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Categories: 2020-2021 Season and Media Reviews.

Three Major Toronto Arts Groups Combine In Historic Virtual Choral-Orchestral Video

Michael Vincent, Ludwig van Toronto. There is nothing quite like the hope found in the continued resilience shown by artists coming together during a crisis. The TSO has joined the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, to perform Gabriel Fauré’s moving Cantique de Jean Racine, under the baton of conductor Simon Rivard.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

Review of Great Poets in Music online program

Ken Stephen, Large Stage Live. On Saturday, May 30, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was scheduled to round out its season with a concert devoted to great poets in music -- a concert which I had fully planned to attend. With a little bit of luck and a great deal of ingenuity, planning, effort, and coordination, the Choir has managed instead to present an online virtual concert built around the same theme.  It originally aired at the same time that the live concert was scheduled to take place, and is now available online. To pull this effort together, the Choir has brought together audio recorded performances from five other choirs, tossed in a previous video performance and a new social-distancing recording of their own, and tied the entire evening together with readings of great poetry and theatre by renowned Canadian actors Tom McCamus and Lucy Peacock and commentary by the choir's interim conductor, David Fallis.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra New Recording of MASSENET: THAIS on Chandos Label

Broadway World Newsdesk. In the absence of being able to perform live in its concert hall, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is especially pleased to announce the release of a new recording of Massenet's emotionally riveting opera Thaïs on the prestigious Chandos label. Massenet: Thaïs is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music, and for purchase on iTunes. Conducted by TSO Interim Artistic Director Sir Andrew Davis, and featuring a cast of renowned Canadian and international singers, with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Massenet: Thaïs was recorded live by Soundmirror, Inc. at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto in November 2019.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s Free Concert brings out the crowds!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. The concert, billed as Romantics and New Romantics was not the usual fare of well-known popular tunes meant to please an undiscerning audience. Indeed, it was an hour and a half  packed with choral gems from the 19th to 21st centuries.  Not that for choral lovers there wasn’t a mix of new and familiar, this was a concert meant to touch the heartstrings of both the uninitiated and the seasoned concert goers. It did just that. (Guest conductor John William Trotter) is known for innovative approaches to presentation and Saturday’s concert was evidence. He demonstrated in this concert not only his ability to elicit fine musical expression from the choir, but also his ease in communicating with the audience.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Symphony 2019-2020 # 3: Sublime Late Mozart

Ken Stephen, Large Stage Live! Wonderful as the soloists were, the honours of the evening, as far as the Requiem were concerned, rested with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.  Coincidentally (or not?) the first of the four concerts this week fell on January 15, the exact 125th anniversary of the founding concert of the choir in 1894 under Dr. Augustus Vogt.  Throughout the work, the choristers excelled in the agility needed for the faster passages (the Offertorio and the Kyrie fugue the most stunning examples) while finding the necessary power for the more solemn and sombre sections.  Impressive indeed were the many passages placed low in the voice registers, and here in particular the singers maintained firm tone and immaculate blend in places where some choirs get into difficulties. 
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

The TSO’s Mozart Requiem Warms the Heart On A Winter’s Night

Joseph So, Ludwig Van Toronto. To my ears, the glory of the evening belonged to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. At the risk of being branded Toronto-centric, I feel strongly that the TMC is the premiere choral ensemble in Canada. Despite not having a permanent conductor at the moment, the TMC continues to do well. The Sanctus and Rex tremendae were two of the many highlights of the evening.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.