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Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • January
  • Jazz
  • Ensemble
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Musical
  • February

Ensemble recreates his

Ensemble recreates his Midnight Mass for Christmas Eve, perhaps first performed in 1694. The recording opens with a surprisingly martial roll of drums for the Prelude to the Te Deum (the rest is much more restful!). The Mass itself, written for eight soloists, chorus and orchestra, includes ten noels or popular carols of the period, interpolated between liturgical pieces. These are darker, older tunes that spring from plainsong and folk music, and their inclusion imparts a rich texture to the work. Canadians will recognize the Advent tune "O Come, Divine Messiah" (very much better known in French). And, since the work was performed in a Jesuit church, it should not seem so surprising to hear Jesus Ahatonhia ("The Huron Carol") with its original Huron lyrics: even before 1700, Canadian culture was evidently making its way to Europe. Concert Notes: The Toronto Chamber Choir presents "A Renaissance Christmas" on December 5 and The Toronto Consort presents "The Praetorius Christmas Vespers" on December 10 and 11. There will be a number of performances of Charpentier's Christmas music this month: Tafelmusik' s "A French Baroque Christmas: Celebrating Charpentier" December 1- 5; Scarborough Philharmonic's "A Baroque Christmas" on December 4; and Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir December 11. Aradia performs a "Christmas Concert: Vivaldi Sacred Music" on December 12. Mistletoe & Wine Medieval Baebes Nettwerk 30330 For the Wiccans and Goths sets, perhaps, a CD of mainly Christian content, but with a pagan heart. The Medieval Baebes are an ensemble of musicological minxes who specialize in songs of the Middle Ages: as in a bevy of Kate Bush clones who are really into madrigals. This disc combines many previously released selections with some new content, little of which would otherwise be familiar to most listeners (except The Holly and the Ivy and Coventry Carol). Accompaniment includes recorders, glockenspiel and bodhran-style percussion, which nicely offsets the Baebes' rather breathy and occasionally treacly trademark sound. One caution: the CD is imprinted with its own player, which may take ages to unload on a PC if you• re listening on your computer. The Storyteller's Bag Text by Mark Brownell; Music by Ronald Royer, Alexander Rapoport, Keith Bissell Chamber Music Society of Mississauga Independent 6 23235 6104 2 (www .chambennusicmississauga.org) Finally, this one's not just for Christmas, except in the sense that this is also a season of storytelling on chilly nights. It's a recording of three fully-narrated Ojibway tales as performed by Lome Cardinal (a regular on CTV's Comer Gas) and Cheri Maracle, with full musical scoring by Royer. Rapoport and Bissell, courtesy of the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga, who conceived the project. Probably most effective with preteen children (and adults), the stories are funny, lively and sweet. Royer's haunting score for The Star Lily is the most instantly captivating, but the whole disc has merit and considerable charm. Concert Note: The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga presents "Comical and Conical", a program of wind octets on February 6. Yo-Yo Ma The Dvorak Album Marcelo Alvarez The Tenor's Passion DECEMBER 1 2004 - FEBRUARY 7 2005

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