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Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Good Friday Concert of Contemporary Music

Location: Ontario, Canada
Choir type: Professional Choirs
Voicing: Mixed
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's grand symphonic sound will envelop body and soul in the rich acoustics of St. Paul's Basilica for a contemplative Good Friday concert.  Sacred Music for a Sacred Space takes place on Friday, April 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm.  Noel Edison will conduct the Mendelssohn Singers, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, cellist John Marshman, organist Michael Bloss and saxophonist John Johnson in a concert featuring sacred works by contemporary composers who use modern harmonies to create powerful sonic landscapes that inspire reflection. 
The first half of this Good Friday concert will feature the Mendelssohn Singers, a chamber-sized group pulled from the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.   John Tavener’s rarely performed Svyati for cello and chorus employs an unusual combination of musical forces to powerful effect. The Mendelssohn Singers will sing from the Gallery, behind and above the audience, while John Marshman, cello, will play from the body of the church, underscoring the interplay between these parts. 
Other music to be performed by the Mendelssohn Singers a cappella will include The Reproaches by John Sanders and two pieces by the young Polish composer Pawel Lukaszewski: Ave Maria and Nunc dimittis.  
The second half of the concert will feature the grand sound of the full 150-voice Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.   They will perform works by composers from different countries and periods, compositions that surround the audience in sound, creating a reflective, meditative atmosphere.  The Spanish Renaissance composer Cristobal Morales’ Parce mihi domine will be performed with the Choir actually surrounding the audience and with a saxophone improvisation, by saxophonist John Johnson, soaring above.   Other works will include Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus for 8 voices, Purcell’s Hear My Prayer, and works by contemporary masters Eric Whitacre, Imant Raminsh and Arvo Pärt. Pärt’s Beatitudes, with its striking open fifth harmonies, is sung a cappella until the final dramatic organ conclusion. 
Pre-concert chat at 6:50 pm with music broadcaster and author Rick Phillips.
Tickets are available from the TMC Box Office or at the door. 416-598-0422, ext 24 or online at
St. Paul's Basilica is at 83 Power Street, one block east of Parliament Street on Queen Street East in Toronto.
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