The TMC celebrates 120 years

Michael Johnson,

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir proudly turns 120 this year, making it the oldest continuing musical organization in Toronto if not the country. Its Artistic Director since 1997, the 7th in its history, is Noel Edison. …

I was permitted to attend the final rehearsal the night before the performance, a valuable experience for insights into both conductors’ aims and techniques. Ms Daley’s witty and precise focus on what needs to be done gave the Haydn work sharp definition. A highlight was the Credo with its energetic soaring lines.

In his remarks introducing Mozart’s Requiem, Noel Edison admitted that it is one of the four choral works guaranteed to fill a hall (the other three – no surprises – being Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Orff’s Carmina Burana). As we all know, Mozart’s final illness and death prevented him from completing the work so his student, Franz Süssmayer, was asked to do so. There are widely-acknowledged flaws in the result, and many conductors (Edison among them) have used other completions. On this occasion he has returned to Süssmayer’s version because, he explained, “after all, Süssmayer was there”.

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