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.

Toronto Symphony and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir join forces for a memorable Requiem​

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. When I look at the TSO calendar of concerts at the start of the season, the first to be penciled into our calendar are invariably those that include the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. There is something extraordinary about the choral orchestral sounds that touches my soul like nothing else can. The stunning power and beauty of our fine orchestra takes me to another space when it is enveloped by the over-arching sopranos or pierced by the strength of the male voices. Last night’s concert had an extra degree of ‘specialness’ (if that’s a word). Mozart’s Requiem in D minor K.626has been consistently close to my heart since I first fell in love with choral music in my first year of university.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

TSO Messiah via Mozart

Leslie Barcza, barczablog. Tonight I heard something different from the Toronto Symphony. The TSO’s annual Messiah in Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir may seem like a ritual, but it actually varies from year to year. Every time we get different soloists; more on that in a moment. And some years they vary the actual musical score that’s being played. Handel’s Messiah has been presented in many versions, using many performance philosophies even if you don’t go for something radical like Soundstreams’ “Electric Messiah” or Andrew Davis’s muscular re-orchestration that’s been done a few times at the TSO. This year we’re hearing Mozart’s take on Messiah.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Mozartian Messiah Is A Unique Experience

Joseph So, Ludwig van Toronto. While one could quibble with the musical structure of the Mozartian version, it remains enjoyable, to be sure. Alexander Shelley made an auspicious TSO debut, leading the orchestra in a very crisp reading of the score. He’s a fine conductor, and let’s hope he’ll be back. His fast tempo, together with the cuts in this version, means that the performance only lasted two and a half hours including intermission. ... And, one can count on the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir to deliver each and every time. It was at its best in “Surely, He hath borne our griefs,” offering up thrilling tone and impressive power.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.

‘Messiah’ gets a Mozart makeover from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

John Terauds, Toronto Star. The TSO is not presenting George Frideric Handel’s original 1741 “Messiah,” but Mozart’s 1789 version. Not only that, but the TSO’s five performance will be led by Alexander Shelley, the exciting National Arts Centre Orchestra music director, and sung by a dream team of Canadian operatic soloists: soprano Jane Archibald, mezzo Emily D’Angelo, tenor Isaiah Bell and baritone Russell Braun. As usual, the choral parts will be sung by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
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Categories: 2019-2020 Season and Media Reviews.