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.

Messiah on Messiah turns out even

Michael Vincent, Musical Toronto and The Toronto Star. Toronto boasts over 30 Messiah’s performed across the city, and perhaps with the exception of New York City, makes Toronto Messiah Central. While there are a wide variety of offerings, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik remain the two standbys. Without being too competitive, it’s always fun to compare them.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Big, fat Messiah

John Gilks, operaramblings. Sir Andrew Davis is in town conducting his own orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. In the modern world this is probably as close as it gets to Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Huddersfield Choral Society. He conducts the TSO with brass and woodwinds that Handel never saw and lots of percussion including snare drum, sleigh bells, tambourines and marimba. He also has the not inconsiderable heft of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto theatres offer three unique versions of Handel’s Messiah

Robert Harris, The Globe and Mail. Davis’s Messiah will be one of three quite different versions of the perennial favourite presented in Toronto next week, a bit shy of the 20 or so in the New York metropolitan area that the unfortunate junior critic for the New York Times is routinely assigned to review every season, but quite a bouquet nonetheless. The three Messiahs show the extreme versatility and adaptability of this amazing work, which has been pushed and pulled into innumerable, sometimes unrecognizable shapes over its two-and-a-half-century existence, but which manages to escape whole and healthy every time.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

New Ears Encounter the German Romantics

[T]he entire evening reminded me of the incredible power of live music. Even the slower pieces were performed with such passion that even though they were about the loss of love etc I couldn’t help but be a bit giddy with excitement. I had never heard love songs performed like this before.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season, Media Reviews, and New Ears Project.

A fine sampling of German Romanticism

Michael Johnson, concertonet. This program by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was doubly unusual in that it presented a number of short choral works that rarely get the “big choir” treatment, plus the evening’s guest soloist was a pianist, in this case André Laplante, whose deeply thoughtful performance of six pieces helped fullfil the evening’s title German Romantics.
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Categories: 2015-2016 Season and Media Reviews.

Luminato’s ‘Apocalypsis’ Offered A New View to the End of the World

Tom Beedham, Noisey. The apocalypse began before the audience could find its seats. While some still filtered in from the Toronto Sony Centre’s lobby, in an unnerving scene of delirium, actors situated throughout the audience stood and shouted proclamations for the end of the world in English, German, and Latin, silencing excited chatter about the epic sensory buffet that was about to unfold.
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Categories: 2014-2015 Season and Media Reviews.