Tag: Tavener

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society combine to create choral ecstasy!
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Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society combine to create choral ecstasy!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Yesterday’s concert was a momentous celebration of the great music that grew out of the nineteenth century British choral tradition. It included the music of the famed British composers Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Parry, Holst, Stainer, Sullivan and Tavener as well as Canadians Healey Willan and Elizabeth Ekholm, each heavily influenced by the musical traditions of England.

The concert began with organist Michael Bloss performing the long introduction to Handel’s Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest. The first sound of the two hundred voice combined choir shook me so intensely that the majesty of the music overwhelmed me at a visceral level. It was a sound that produced goosebumps throughout the entirety of my body.

Elora Festival Singers offer up transcendent choral works!
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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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TMC presents the Elora Festival Singers in concert

The TMC launches its 2016/17 season by presenting the Grammy-nominated Elora Festival Singers in concert on October 16. In this season, celebrating Noel Edison’s 20th with the Choir, the TMC is proud to give audiences an opportunity to experience Noel’s internationally-acclaimed chamber choir, the Elora Festival Singers (the other half of his artistic life), in Toronto. The EFS will perform a cappella works by the Italian Renaissance master Palestrina and contemporary composers Arvo Pärt, John Tavener and Jocelyn Morlock.

Finding Enchantment in the Basilica: New Ears Report on Sacred Music for a Sacred Space
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Finding Enchantment in the Basilica: New Ears Report on Sacred Music for a Sacred Space

Parul “Koel” Bahuguna, New Ears Review: My ears, eyes and soul were sent to a magical place this Good Friday at the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s (TMC) Sacred Music for a Sacred Space concert which was held at the St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto. I must confess, before this experience, I had never had the pleasure of listening to any form of choral music let alone listening to it being performed live in a beautiful basilica. My expectations going into the concert were all about embracing the unknown. I had no idea what to expect or if I would enjoy choral music or not. I am also not Catholic or Christian so I was not sure if I would understand the references in the lyrics or generally relate to the songs. However, I did go into this concert knowing that I absolutely love music, love listening to different types of music and love attending live performances.

Sacred Music 2015 Program Notes
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Sacred Music 2015 Program Notes

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s Good Friday 2015 concert of spiritual, meditative music begins with music by the popular Englishman Sir John Tavener (1944 –2013). He was trained traditionally at the Royal Academy of Music, and as his life and career developed, Tavener’s character and music became more spiritual and contemplative, eventually leading him to turn to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1977. Song for Athene was written in 1993 as a tribute to a young family friend of Tavener’s named Athene who died in a cycling accident. Athene’s love of acting and of the music of the Orthodox Church led the composer to combine words from Shakespeare’s Hamlet with words from the Orthodox funeral service. The work became part of popular culture after it was performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir announces its 2014-15 Season: Celebrating 120 years
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Toronto Mendelssohn Choir announces its 2014-15 Season: Celebrating 120 years

Toronto, 1894: the last horse-drawn streetcar made its run in Toronto; Massey Hall was built; and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was founded, presenting its
first concert in 1895. Throughout its 120-year history, and under the leadership of seven renowned conductors, the Choir has been acclaimed for its stunning performances of major choral repertoire and for its important role in the life of choral music in Canada.

A wondrous variety
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A wondrous variety

The 2013 Good Friday concert at St. Paul’s Basilica featured the Mendelssohn Singers, the 70-voice choir formed in 2003 from the ranks of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. As in previous Good Friday concerts, music from various eras was sung (in this case from the 16th to the 21st centuries) and once again the choir used various spaces within the church to wonderful effect.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space 2013 Program Notes
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Sacred Music for a Sacred Space 2013 Program Notes

Except for a couple of years at the Dresden Court, Antonio Lotti (c.1647-1740) spent his career in Venice, working his way up from singer to organist to maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s Basilica. Lotti was an innovative composer of almost thirty operas, but in his sacred music he tended to rely on the great traditions of Renaissance polyphony. J.S. Bach, G.F. Handel and Felix Mendelssohn all knew and admired his music. Today he is known almost exclusively for his many settings of the Crucifixus text from the Credo of the mass. Why he wrote so many has remained a mystery but it may have been for insertion into mass settings by other composers.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space 2011 Program Notes
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Sacred Music for a Sacred Space 2011 Program Notes

Throughout his life, Healey Willan claimed he was born with the ability to read music. As a choir boy in England, he studied singing, piano, organ, harmony and counterpoint and by the age of eleven was conducting choir practices. Willan continued on the path of a church musician in London, delighted by his natural gift for music.