Tag: Dove

Review of Great Poets in Music online program
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Review of Great Poets in Music online program

Ken Stephen, Large Stage Live. On Saturday, May 30, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was scheduled to round out its season with a concert devoted to great poets in music -- a concert which I had fully planned to attend.

With a little bit of luck and a great deal of ingenuity, planning, effort, and coordination, the Choir has managed instead to present an online virtual concert built around the same theme.  It originally aired at the same time that the live concert was scheduled to take place, and is now available online.

To pull this effort together, the Choir has brought together audio recorded performances from five other choirs, tossed in a previous video performance and a new social-distancing recording of their own, and tied the entire evening together with readings of great poetry and theatre by renowned Canadian actors Tom McCamus and Lucy Peacock and commentary by the choir's interim conductor, David Fallis.

Carmina Burana Program Notes
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Carmina Burana Program Notes

The British composer Jonathan Dove (b. 1959) has composed in a variety of fields, including film scores, orchestral and chamber music and choral music, but he’s maybe best known for his operas and opera adaptations. As well as The Adventures of Pinocchio and Mansfield Park, based on the novel by Jane Austen, Dove has also created a two-evening chamber adaptation of The Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner.

Preview: Carmina Burana makes for vivid night of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir song at Koerner Hall
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Preview: Carmina Burana makes for vivid night of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir song at Koerner Hall

If Tuesday night’s dress rehearsal is any indication, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s Wednesday performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana should make for a powerful evening of music.

The music from the most popular piece ever written by German composer Carl Orff (1895-1982) has been used in film and television and all sorts of advertising because of its raw power. Today, 75 years after its premiere in Frankfurt, Orff’s collection of 24 songs and poems found in a Benedictine abbey still packs a visceral punch.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s performance, the latest of many over its long history, added the beauty of three excellent soloists, some wonderfully subtle shaping by conductor and artistic director Noel Edison, and a nicely executed accompaniment by pianists James Bourne and Michel Ross as well as the TorQ Percussion Quartet.