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Volume 17 Issue 4 - December 2011

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

MESSIAH QUICKPICKSThe

MESSIAH QUICKPICKSThe Children’s Messiah, Pax Christi Chorale at St. Mary Magdalene.Following is an “at a glance” guide to concerts in our listingsfeaturing Handel’s Messiah. For times, venues, soloists andother significant details, please consult the concert listingsGTA Elmer Iseler Singers, with Amadeus Choir Etobicoke Centennial Choir, (selections) Georgetown Bach Chorale, Georgetown BaroqueChoir (Dec 4 sold out)Milton ChoristersVoices Chamber Choir, (choruses only) Pax Christi Chorale, The Children’s Messiah(condensed version of original) Alexander Singers & Players (excerpts) Etobicoke Centennial Choir, sing-along Vocal Horizons Chamber Choir Tafelmusik, sing-along version Dec 18 Toronto Symphony Orchestra, with TorontoMendelssohn Choir Kindred Spirits Orchestra, with Village Voices Ontario Philharmonic, with Toronto ChamberChoir Oakville Ensemble Aradia Ensemble, The Dublin Messiah Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, (excerpts)with Masterworks of Oakville Choir Arcady, with National Academy Orchestra ofCanadaBeyond GTA Arcady, A Baroque Messiah Orchestra Kingston, Singalong Messiah King Edward Choir (part 1) Grand Philharmonic Choir, with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Bach Elgar Choir, with Hamilton PhilharmonicOrchestra Grand River Chorus, Singalong Messiah Guelph Chamber Choir, with Musica VivaOrchestra Peterborough Singers Arcady, with National Academy Orchestra ofCanadaWarmth and WonderNow as ThenS I M O N E D E S I L E T STALLIS CHOIRThe year is 1725, the night is Christmas Eve. In the colonial cityof Quebec it is crisp and clear; snow upon snow has fallen andtonight lies in vast expanses, sparkling under the stars. Life isnot easy—in no small measure because of the extreme cold —ah,but inside the church this night there is warmth and a sense ofwonder at the holiness of this yearly ritual. And there is wonderfulmusic: a marvellous Messe de Minuit pour Noël by the late Frenchcomposer Marc-Antoine Charpentier is being performed. Brought carols. Its sections are surrounded and interspersed with otherChristmas music too, noëls and motets by composers both from theFrench court of King Louis XIV and from the New World; a carolin an aboriginal language; also lovely organ music from a book recentlybrought over from France by the new organist of Notre-Dameparish. For the sophisticated congregation of Quebec, it truly is aglorious feast of music.Every year, the Tallis Choir presents a concert programme, builtaround an imagined but possible historical event such as the above,with music that was performed in the period. They do this withobvious joy in the extensive research involved in the preparation, bypeople such as choir member Douglas Cowling and director PeterMahon. On December 10 at St. Patrick’s Church, you can hear thisseason’s offering as the Tallis Choir, the Talisker Players, organistPhilip Fournier and director Peter Mahon recreate a high mass forChristmas Eve as it might have been celebrated in colonial Quebeccity, “Midnight Mass for New France, 1725.”Tafelmusik’s own “Herr Handel” conductsDecember 18 at Massey Hall.MESSIAHSThere’s no dearth of annual Messiah in its own way. Here’s a sampling of some which offer a particularlyunique approach:Georgetown Bach Chorale takes an historical approach in termsof location and musical presentation. Director Ronald Greidanuswaxes enthusiastic about the venues: “The buildings are as incredibleas the music, Acton’s Old Town Hall being very similar to thetheatre Handel would have performed his Dublin premiere in; thesecond location (east of Georgetown) even more breathtaking—an by candles, decorated by incredible byzantinian icons. Listeners willbe bemused by a beautiful chorale sound (complete with 22-memberchoir, two harpsichords, baroque chamber organ, baroque stringsand brass) in an intimate church that seats only 180 —it truly is likeGARY BEECHEY18 thewholenote.comDecember 1 – February 7, 2012

~E TO|oNTOCºNSO|tª SPANISHCH|iSTMASFlashing rhythms, irrepressible spirit, soulfulsonorities – there’s nothing quite like the music ofearly baroque Spain and Latin America.A Christmas fiesta like nothing else in the city –with guitars, lutes, harp, bajón, voices, and ofcourse, wonderful percussion.December 1 – February 7, 2012 thewholenote.com 19

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