Toronto Mendelssohn Choir delivers a mixed Bach B minor Mass

After hearing the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and Artistic Director Noel Edison last Wednesday night, it was a mixed success. It was a nuanced approach, with a special focus upon subtlety and the withholding certain melodic passages that Edison felt needed to whisper rather than call out. At other times, Edison didn't hesitate to push the choir forth and allow it to chime like carillon bells over the streets of Bach's mid-eighteenth-century Leipzig. From the stabbing consonants of its Kyrie, through the stirring syncopation of its Credo, Edison did a fine job of maintaining a singular thread uniting the work.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performs Bach’s ‘Mass in B Minor’ at Koerner Hall

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s concert of Bach’s “Mass in B Minor” on March 26, 2014 at Koerner Hall was like the Titanic: it took a little bit of time to get her feet moving but once she did, she was unstoppable. The TMC’s performance was also drastically different than the Titanic’s in that the former didn’t hit any icebergs, but rather sailed off into the sunset in a sound that kept ringing long after conductor Noel Edison cued the stop.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium wraps up with free concert

When voices can sound as good as they do with the Elora Festival Singers and the Mendelssohn Singers, it's easy to see why people believe in God. On Feb. 1, 2014, the two choirs sang a programme of 19 songs led by seven different conductors: EFS/Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Artistic Director Noel Edison and Associate Conductor Caron Daley, and five student conductors taking part in the fourth annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium (Renata Dworak, Jeffrey Moellman, Sarah Morrison, Raymund Ocampo, and Zachary Thompson.) The most appropriate word to describe the result was glorious.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

TMC successfully wraps up fourth Choral Conductors’ Symposium

On Jan. 31, 2014, five conductors from all over North America wrapped a weeklong symposium at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, having intensely studied for five days under Noel Edison, conductor of the Elora Festival Singers and Toronto Mendelssohn choir. When it came time to choosing the five conductors, Edison looked at their videos very closely and watched for signs of what he called "conducting DNA." "I think the first thing is that all gesturing is very natural. It's not awkward, it's not looking like a robot, it's not school teacher-ish ( pantomimes conducting in 4/4 on every beat)—it's like a ballet dancer. And if the expression, the physical expression, and the whole inner musical thinking is connected with the body, then the physical arm and hand gesturing will be very natural. "Choirs or orchestras sing or play what they see."
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto’s flagship Mendelssohn Choir continues to diversify with community singing, webcasts

This week the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has quietly released the results of its latest annual general meeting. But the rest of what the city’s oldest choral society does is not so quiet. The last few years have not been the easiest for the organization, founded in 1894. It shared space and many concerts for three-quarters of a century with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra — first at Massey Hall, then at Roy Thomson Hall. The Mendelssohnians sang in Carnegie Hall in 1907 — well before there even was a permanent Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Conductors’ Symposium gearing up to big start

For the past three years, one of Toronto's- nay, one of Canada's-largest choral organizations has put on a weeklong symposium to find and nurture the next generation of conductors because, in their own words, "At the head of every successful choral organization is a skilled conductor." This year, in their fourth annual TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is set to embark on an intensive series of workshops and masterclasses from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1 where five conductors have been selected to study under the tutelage of Noel Edison.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Battle of the Messiahs: Toronto Symphony wins this round

Will the 10,000 people who go hear the show at Roy Thomson Hall get the better or worse experience than the 6,800 at Koerner and Massey halls? It’s long been a seesaw battle. Based on the Toronto Symphony’s first Messiah performance on Tuesday night and Tafelmusik’s on Wednesday, it’s the former that has a slight edge in 2013. First-time visiting conductor Christopher Warren-Green did a remarkable job of teasing out impressive details from Handel’s music — using less than three-dozen members of the TSO set against the 140 members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Concert review: This could be the Toronto Symphony’s best Messiah so far this century

Tuesday’s first performance of the Toronto Symphony’s five-concert run of Handel’s oratorio Messiah at Roy Thomson Hall was that rare beast: a triumph from brisk Overture to rousing Amen. This interpretation has it all: great soloists, a lean, expressive orchestra, superb choir and a cohesive performance approach from a veteran British conductor making his Toronto Symphony début.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Messing with Messiah

Noel Edison, artistic director of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir says he has no problem with unconventional approaches to The Messiah but, when he leads his singers on their five days with the TSO’s program, he is strictly on the side of tradition. “I’m too conservative,” Edison admits. Besides, he says, it doesn’t need embellishment. Handel “has so intimately, honestly and elegantly placed the text with the music, that it comes alive.”
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and guests make magic of Benjamin Britten cantatas

Here’s a suggestion: If you go to one choral concert other than Messiah this season, make it the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s brilliant tribute to Benjamin Britten on Wednesday evening. Tuesday night’s dress rehearsal at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church revealed not only a compelling, deeply affecting programme, but wonderful performances from the Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, orchestra, pianists, organist and, last but far from least, soloists tenor Colin Ainsworth and soprano Leslie Bouza. Mendelssohn Choir music director Noel Edison chose two cantatas to showcase the composer’s genius for writing potent music drama for all ages and abilities: The Company of Heaven, created for BBC Radio in 1937, and Saint Nicolas, commissioned for the centennial of Lancing College but premiered at Aldeburgh in 1948.
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Categories: 2013-2014 Season and Media Reviews.