TSO and cast of hundreds bring Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings music to life

Trish Crawford, The Toronto Star. Frodo, Sam, Gandalf and Aragorns’ valiant mission in Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring will be supported full-throttle with a large chorus and soloists performing live while the movie unspools in Roy Thomson Hall. Canadian Howard Shore, who won three Oscars for his Lord of the Rings trilogy scores, notes that this new “concert and a movie” approach has livened up many a symphony hall. “The Toronto Symphony, the Mendelssohn Choir, the Children’s Opera Chorus brings more than 200 musicians to the stage to recreate the score beautifully,” he says. “They do it as a concert first, then bring in the Tolkien dialogue.”
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Understanding Audiences: Takeaways from the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project

Kelsey Menehan, Chorus America. This August, Chorus America released the results of the first-ever systematic look at what moves and motivates the people who attend choral music concerts. In partnership with leading research and consulting firm WolfBrown, the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project worked with 23 choruses across North America to survey their audiences. We spoke with researcher Alan Brown and a number of the participating choruses about what they learned from the study and the implications the findings have for the entire choral field. (Note: Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was a participant in this research project and was interviewed for this article.)
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

CD Review: Handel’s Messiah – Sir Andrew Davis

Andrew Fletcher, NEMM.org, UK. Sir Andrew Davis claims that for this new concert edition, he wanted to do a ‘grand’ version, and sought to “keep Handel’s notes, harmonies and style intact, but to make use of all the colours available from the modern symphony orchestra”. This goal is achieved, with an overall ‘bright’ feel that is vital, fresh and exuberant, but not overcooked.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir delivers a dramatically powerful Elijah

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir celebrated conductor Noel Edison’s twentieth season at the choir’s helm with a stunningly powerful performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s iconic oratorio Elijah. Edison put together a formidable cast of soloists which together with the choir and orchestra, created a performance with all the passion one could imagine.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Tutti Contenti at Amadeus Live

Brian Chang, The Wholenote. The second half of the film is dominated by the Requiem Mass. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir shone the most in these pieces – after all, they know it well. Despite best efforts the diction was lost in the Sony Centre, but the overall effect was not diminished; it is the reality of singing amplified in a space full of soft services and full with 3100 patrons. The choir had excellent blend and balance and was well met by the Motion Picture Symphony Orchestra.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

Elora Festival Singers offer up transcendent choral works!

David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews: Edison’s genius as Artistic Director lies not only in preparing his choir to an exceptional level of performance. He consistently finds music spanning five centuries that fits into a coherent package. Yesterday was no exception; each work was exquisite on its own, but the combination added up to a mystical experience.
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Categories: 2016-2017 Season and Media Reviews.

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.