Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and guests make magic of Benjamin Britten cantatas

John Terauds, Musical Toronto

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.

Read the complete review online.