Fireworks! Mendelssohn’s Elijah Takes Off on Guy Fawkes Day

David Perlman, The Wholenote: What are the odds that there would be three separate perform­ances of Felix Mendelssohn’s final completed oratorio, Elijah, all taking place this coming November 5? It’s not as though there’s some particularly significant Mendelssohnian anniversary in the offing: he was born in 1809 and died in 1847, at age 38, 14 months after Elijah premiered, in English, at the Birmingham Town Hall, as part of the Birmingham Festival. But by one of those odd twists of planning and timing (and without any discussion among themselves), Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Pax Christi Chorale and Chorus Niagara have all scheduled the work, same day and time, as a major part of their respective 2016/17 seasons.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

ELORA FESTIVAL opens with a celebration of life, love and redemption!

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Last night, the Opening Night Gala (of the Elora Festival) brought together the widely acclaimed Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Elora Festival Singers, the Elora Festival Orchestra and four superb soloists in two magnificent and large choral orchestral works. The performance took place on the outskirts of the historic village in a mammoth storage barn transformed into a cathedral-like concert hall. The program opened with moving multi-verse arrangements of ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘O Canada’. The audience felt goosebumps from the glorious choral-orchestral sound that gave a hint of the very special evening that was about to unfold.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Conductor And Soloist Try The Soft Sell With The TSO

Arthur Kaptainis, Musical Toronto. Expectation and fulfillment: We get a bit of each every day, and giant helpings whenever an orchestra like the Toronto Symphony programs Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé as a complete ballet. This score is languorous and lavish in equal measure, and if the first of two performances in Roy Thomson Hall under the baton of Juanjo Mena was a little heavy on the languor, the emphatic moments had their properly fulfilling effect.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

T.O. concert for Queen’s 90th was indeed Happy and Glorious

Martin Knelman, Toronto Star. It was a highly enjoyable celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday with a distinctively Canadian twist. And it should have been on national TV in prime time so millions could have joined the party.... From an Ontario perspective, the most stirring mix of provincial pride and nostalgia came when the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir sang “A Place to Stand,” which became an anthem for the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, which the Queen visited.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

An experience of sonic excellence: New Ears respond to The Creation

At one point I began to imagine myself seated in the hull of Noah’s Ark instead of Koerner Hall with its beautiful wood-paneled balconies and ceiling and how I was being prepared for a world of such beauty and diversity, listening to the music. Haydn’s Creation was an experience of sonic excellence combining vocal soloists, choir and orchestra and at the same time a good opportunity to reflect on the natural beauty we’ve been afforded and should not take for granted.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

Choral Splendor Marks TMC’s The Creation at Koerner Hall

Joseph So, Musical Toronto. One of the cornerstones of the oratorio repertoire, Haydn’s The Creation (Die Schöpfung) is a wonderful work that I never get tired of hearing. Together with Die Jahreszeiten, it’s two pieces on my short list of go-to oratorios if I ever want a “spiritual uplift.” So it was great to hear it again the other evening at Koerner Hall.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir spectacular in Haydn’s Creation

David Richards, Ontario Arts Review. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir created an evening of spectacular bliss. Noel Edison successfully highlighted the drama and humour in the work with uplifting results. He created a symphonic sound of magnificent proportions with the 135 voice choir and the Festival Orchestra.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Transported: New Ears Respond to Sacred Music in a Sacred Space

As a first time choral concert-goer, I truly did not know what to expect walking into St. Paul's Basilica that Wednesday evening. I was immediately taken aback by the beauty of the church, however it was soon taking second seat to the beautiful music of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Soars!

David Richards, Ontario Arts Review. Good Friday at St. Paul’s Catholic Church was the perfect day and place for a concert by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. The choir made wonderful use of the church’s magnificent acoustics, not to mention the elaborately decorated sanctuary. The concert of sacred music in such beautiful surroundings, on this special day, made the spirits soar. If Good Friday was meant to send a message of peace, hope and love to mankind, then the Mendelssohn Choir was an inspirational messenger.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

New Ears review Festival of Carols 2015

Christmas may not yet be white, but at least we’re starting the season right A New Ears review by Helen Androlia. It’s an unfortunate truth that when you work in advertising (as I do) that Christmas actually starts in July, as that’s really when you begin planning for the season. So, as December finally rolls around, you can imagine it can be a challenge to muster up some festive cheer. My companion, too, had told me earlier about the garland she had purchased in an attempt to make her home a little more merry and bright, only to have it fall two feet short – an apt metaphor for both of our moods, if you would, and compounded by the still-conspicuously green landscaping of our meeting spot. Fortunately, we were about to step into Yorkminster Park Baptist Church for an evening with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for their Festival of Carols, which we felt certain would keeping our encroaching Scroogery at bay, and we couldn’t have been more correct. From the very beginning, heralded by the iconic pa-rum-pa-pum-pum of “The Little Drummer Boy,” the performance explored every mood of the season. There were bright, cheerful Christmas classics, punctuated with bold brass interludes that were arranged with enough distinction to perk up your ears, but not so much as to render them unfamiliar. There were thoughtful, meditative hymns that explored the more spiritual side of the season filled with lush, layered vocals. Of course, there were also some moments of audience participation – largely expected when you attend an evening filled with carols – and while they took away a little from the choral performances, they certainly were fun. Then again, how could the rest of us compete with the power of the choir? We all may have the numbers, but certainly not the talent. The curation of the evening’s songs was nearly flawless, with one exception; the penultimate performance, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, felt a little out of place with its a capella styling. The choir is at its strongest when they are either highlighting groups or united as a whole, and the layered approach caused their beautiful voices to become overshadowed by the church’s organ, which was a strange choice for accompaniment, given its volume, power, and the presence of a brass band. In an evening filled with fine performances, two in particular stood out. The second
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.