Toronto Mendelssohn Choir – A Night of Brahms

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir – A Night of Brahms featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
Conducted by Noel Edison and Matthew Otto
Susan Platts, Leslie Ann Bradley and Michael York
Koerner Hall
Nov. 9, 2011

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Koerner Hall are a match made in heaven, and the concert called A Night of Brahms was inspired music.

The stirring Ein Deutsches Requiem was augmented by the beautiful Alto Rhapsody, and two powerful songs, Nänie and Gesang der Parzen.

Conductor Noel Edison understands how to build the emotional journey, while TMC’s new associate conductor, Matthew Otto, showed a real flare for choral work on the two songs. The choir sang with discipline and even tones.

In the Requiem, soprano Leslie Ann Bradley displayed a bright, clear sound that soared over the orchestra. She is a talent to watch. The pick-up Festival Orchestra was excellent.

That’s the good news, but there were problems with two of the soloists.

No one can dispute the impeccable musicianship of iconic mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, but in the Alto Rhapsody, her vibrato was so pronounced as to mask the melody. In the Requiem, baritone Michael York had pitch problems and a thin, insecure top.

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