Toronto Mendelssohn Choir takes a luxurious view of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle

John Terauds – Musical Toronto

Gioachino Rossini would probably have barely recognized his Petite Messe Solennelle as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performed it on Saturday afternoon at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Music director Noel Edison decided to present the Petite Messe as originally written in 1863, accompanied by two keyboards instead of orchestra. But instead of a harmonium, the concert used the large and magnificent church organ alongside the grand piano.

Rossini had intended a couple of voices per part, with the soloists singing along with the chorus. Instead we heard a large proportion of the Victorian choral society-sized choir filling the building’s vast chancel.

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