LSM Newswire

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Minimalist Messiah: Classical Music Consort


By G. F. Handel - Performed on Period Instruments

The Chapel at Knox College, University of Toronto

Friday, December 12 at 7:30PM

For Immediate Release Toronto, November 5, 2008: Torontos Classical Music Consort presents Handel's Messiah at The Chapel at Knox College (University of Toronto) on Friday, December 12 at 7:30PM. The sacred oratorio, a perennial audience favourite during the holiday season, is performed here with a minimalist, fresh musical approach: under the direction of artistic director Ashiq Aziz, the Classical Music Consort performs on period instruments, while the CMC choir, comprised of only 8 voices, highlights the textures of Handels splendid choruses. This distinctive performance features soprano Charlotte Corwin, alto Susanne Hawkins, tenor Thomas Macleay and bass Giles Tomkins.

Composed over a period of just over three weeks in the summer of 1741 on a libretto provided by Charles Jennens, The Messiah received its first performance in Dublin on 13 April 1742. The proceeds from the concert were donated to local hospitals for the mentally ill. Although the work was conceived and first performed for secular theatre during Lent, it has become common practice since Handel's death to perform Messiah during Advent. The score itself has undergone numerous revisions, as Handel altered the music depending on the forces available for each performance. This performance by the CMC makes an attempt at recreating a version of the score as it was originally intended.

The Classical Music Consort is an enterprising young company, founded and lead by artistic director Ashiq Aziz (who recently returned to Toronto after studying music in England). Establishing the foundations of an accomplished repertoire while aiming to attract a new generation to the resonance and relevance of classical music, the CMC rose to public attention last summer as it presented Handels opera, Acis and Galatea as part of the 2008 Toronto Fringe Festival, also garnering praises from the media: 'Ashiq Aziz gets gorgeous sounds from his original-instrument playing orchestra and fine crop of singers' (NOW Toronto); 'The lively work is beautifully played and sung.' (Eye Weekly); 'Ķthe whole is so sincerely presented that it is pretty much guaranteed to win your heart.' (Toronto Star).

The Classical Music Consort presents G. F. Handels The Messiah

The Chapel at Knox College, University of Toronto

56 St. George Street, on East side, just North of College Street

Friday, December 12, 2008 a 7:30PM

For tickets (adult/$30; student/$15; senior/$15)

please visit:

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