Toronto Mendelssohn Choirs kicks off 120th season with Haydn, Mozart

Christina Strynatka, The Examiner

4 stars.

Well, that was quite some start to the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s 120th season! After a much too long wait, the 129-strong choir started its 2014/2015 season on October 15 at the wonderfully acoustic Koerner Hall, an intimate stage space where there’s not one bad seat and everything sounds just as lovely no matter where you are. It was a bit of a simple program, with Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” and Mozart’s “Requiem” on the playlist, with four soloists: Toronto Mendelssohn Choir soprano Lesley Bouza, and guests mezzo-soprano Anita Krause, tenor Charles Davidson and bass-baritone Sean Watson.

Before the regular program got underway, though, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir conductor Noel Edison strode onstage to lead the singers in “God Save the Queen” and “O Canada”. A little disappointingly, not everyone in Koerner Hall rose for both pieces, showing either a lack of respect for their surroundings or a ignorance about the meaning of them. But all that disappeared once the choir let their voices soar to the rafters, letting each note ring clear as a bell and hover long after Edison had dropped his hands. ‘Tis might be a small point, but during “God Save the Queen”, one could almost get the sense of what Queen Elizabeth must feel like every time she’s sung this piece, it was that thrilling of a reception.

Read the full review online.