Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society combine to create choral ecstasy!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Yesterday’s concert was a momentous celebration of the great music that grew out of the nineteenth century British choral tradition. It included the music of the famed British composers Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Parry, Holst, Stainer, Sullivan and Tavener as well as Canadians Healey Willan and Elizabeth Ekholm, each heavily influenced by the musical traditions of England. The concert began with organist Michael Bloss performing the long introduction to Handel’s Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest. The first sound of the two hundred voice combined choir shook me so intensely that the majesty of the music overwhelmed me at a visceral level. It was a sound that produced goosebumps throughout the entirety of my body.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Sir Andrew Davis, TSO And Choirs Make A Feast Of Walton

Arthur Kaptainis, Musical Toronto. Much of tale of the wicked Babylonian king is told in choral fortissimo, and it was a credit to all the participants – numbering almost 200, if my count is accurate — that words were often clear enough to be understood without the support of the printed text. Brass were hearty, strings full of fire. Percussion had a field day with the false gods of gold, silver, iron, wood, stone and brass. The RTH organ added impressively to the climactic (but entirely vain) accreditation of Belshazzar as “King of Kings.”
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast rocks the house as the TSO teams up with the Mendelssohn Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. The combined forces of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Huddersfield Choral Society from Leeds, England rocked the house with a tremendously powerful choral sound. Their hushed voices were heart-wrenching as they sang about the humiliation of the Jewish slaves.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Good Friday with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

The concert opened with Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus -- the piece that will forever be associated with the brilliance (and cheekiness) of Mozart, who, at the age of fourteen, wrote it down from memory after just one hearing. With the Miserere, Edison established an aesthetic tone that would govern most of the program: a precise and spacious treatment, notable for perfect intonation and for its restrained approach to tempo and dynamics. I don’t know who the unnamed stratospheric soprano was whose voice soared above all others, but her contribution was impressive.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir soars in a heavenly a cappella performance of sacred music!

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. The pared down version of the choir, The Mendelssohn Singers, sang the first half of the program from the balcony above and behind the nave. The positioning gave a wonderfully mystic effect to the music, allowing the audience to focus on the sounds that reverberated off the arched columns and the vaulted ceiling of the ornately decorated church. The music of Allegri, Pärt and Sanders all made use of plainsong and choral responses to give life to the texts. The recurring solo treble descants in Allegri's Miserere Mei, Deus were particularly beautiful, the high “C” ringing throughout the church. This was a cappella singing at its finest.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

From the Podium: A Who’s Who of the TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium

Brian Chang, The Wholenote. Twenty years ago, Noel Edison took the reins of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (in which I sing). Even then he knew it as “one of Canada’s great cultural institutions.” Predating every other major symphony orchestra and major arts organization in Canada, the choir has operated continuously since 1894 – and since 2010, it has hosted one of the preeminent training symposiums for emerging conductors in North America. This year, five candidates will workshop with Edison, associate conductor Jennifer Min-Young Lee, the Elora Festival Singers, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir over a one-week intensive. The week culminates in a free concert on Saturday, January 28, 3pm at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto. I got in touch with this year’s participants, to talk early influences, choral philosophies and personal musical goals.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

An Exclusive Inside Tour of The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Choral Library

Brian Chang, Musical Toronto. For any given performance at the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, there are 130 copies of each piece of music, one for each chorister. For a concert of small works, there could be 15 or 20 different pieces of music. That’s 1500-2000 pieces of music to coordinate, label, track, distribute and ensure their return before filing back away. The job of a choral librarian is the most underrated, most essential part of a choral administration. Lorraine Spragg is the librarian of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Serving since 2004, she manages the maintenance, organization, distribution, loaning, and return of 406 works totaling 57,742 pieces of music.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Record Keeping: Why Mess With Handel’s “Messiah”?

Paul E. Robinson, Musical Toronto. Handel’s Messiah has been with us for a very long time. A work clearly beloved by millions of people, its presentation is an annual Christmas event in many cities. So why mess with it? People love it the way it is. What moved Sir Andrew Davis to rewrite the piece?
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Charles Jennens: The unsung hero of Handel’s Messiah

Robert Harris, The Globe and Mail. In this season of goodwill and compassion, spare a moment for the forgotten man of Christmas. His name is Charles Jennens. You probably have never heard of him, but every Christmas, you probably listen to, if not sing, at least some of the words he crafted together. Jennens is the man who assembled the texts for Handel’s Messiah. The very fact that we call it Handel’s Messiah demonstrates exactly how much we value Jennens’s contribution to the oratorio. Yet a compelling case can be made that it is Jennens’s compilation of biblical texts, most from the Old Testament, that is as responsible for Messiah’s enduring power as Handel’s music. A radical suggestion.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Is Toronto Getting Tired Of Messiah Yet?

Michael Vincent, Musical Toronto. As for the chorus, the Toronto Mendelsohn Choir were on stage arranged on risers behind the orchestra. The aural effect was worthwhile. Rather than the typical arrangement of situating the chorus in the choir loft, on stage allowed for a centralised and cohesive reference emanating through the orchestra. TMC’s female voices were in particularly fine form, and the overall balance was both polished and powerful. I think we all agree how lucky we are in Toronto to have a choir like the TMC to keep choral music at such a high standard in our city.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.