The Toronto Consort – Schütz’s Christmas Story

 

PRESS RELEASE

The Toronto Consort Celebrates the Yuletide with Musical Jewel of Early Baroque Germany
 Schütz’s Christmas Story  – 

 Renowned English Tenor Charles Daniels joins The Toronto Consort
to present musical Baroque telling of The Nativity Story

Toronto, ON — The Toronto Consort celebrates the magic of the holiday season with Schütz’s Christmas Story, December 13 & 14 at 8pm and December 15 at 3:30pm at Trinity-St. Paul Centre. This gloriously colourful concert features the 17th-century German composer Heinrich Schütz’s masterful musical telling of the Nativity story, alongside exquisite compositions by Schein, Scheidt, and Hassler. Internationally acclaimed English tenor and baroque specialist Charles Daniels returns to The Toronto Consort to perform the lead narrative role of the Evangelist, alongside conductor David Fallis, The Toronto Consort’s Artistic Associates, and an ensemble of guest players and singers

“Seventeenth-century Germany was a hotbed of musical innovation, as various cultural, national, and compositional influences converged. Regarded as the most important German composer before Bach, Schütz is credited with bringing the Italian style to Germany and continuing its evolution from the Renaissance into the Early Baroque. To this day, Schütz’s Christmas Story stands as one of the shining examples of the tremendous work emerging from this period,” says David Fallis, Artistic Director of the production. “Schütz’s tutelage under Italian masters, such as Monteverdi and Gabrieli, translated to more dramatic musical expression, coupled with the association of characters with particular instruments, and subtler relationships between text and music. All of these innovations melded into a joyous celebration of hope and peace, capturing the true spirit of the holiday season.”  

 The work was first performed in Dresden in 1660, when Schütz (1585-1672) was 75 years old, and drew on a lifetime of experience; standing as a testament to the composer’s mastery of means. The work uses a simple narrative text, drawn directly from Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible, and a score for six singers, who give voices to such characters as angels, shepherds, and wise men. Blending the festivity of Yuletide, the reverence of the Nativity, and the vibrant colours of early Baroque music, Schütz’s Christmas Story is an expressive and endearing experience that shimmers with a message of hope for today.

The glowing warmth and expressive immediacy of Schütz’s composition will be complemented by a collection of German Christmas motets by his contemporaries Schein, Scheidt, and Hassler.

The combined program will be given voice and breath by The Toronto Consort’s esteemed Artistic Associates, with a large invited ensemble of skilled singers and players. Performed on a variety of period instruments, including recorders, sackbuts, cornetti, theorbos, violas da gamba and viols, the concert offers a rare opportunity to hear and feel how this music might have been shared at its first performance nearly 400 years ago.

Continuing his longtime collaboration with The Toronto Consort, acclaimed English tenor and baroque performance specialist Charles Daniels will lend additional lustre to the performance in the central role of the Evangelist. Born in Salisbury, Daniels studied at King’s College, Cambridge and at the Royal College of Music in London. He has a prolific recording legacy ranging from the earliest Renaissance music through to the Contemporary repertoire. Daniels performs frequently with Netherlands Baroque Society and makes regular appearances throughout Canada, where he works with Les Voix Baroques, Les Voix Humaines, The Toronto Consort, Tafelmusik, Early Music Vancouver, and at the Montreal Baroque Festival.

Schütz’s Christmas Story is under the direction of David Fallis, a member of The Toronto Consort since 1979 and its Artistic Director from 1990 to 2018. He has led the ensemble in many critically acclaimed programs including The Praetorius Christmas Vespers, The Play of Daniel, all three of Monteverdi’s operas in concert, Cavalli’s La Calisto, and Carissimi’s Jephte, among many others. He has directed the group in its numerous recordings and tours, and has conceived and scripted many of their most popular programs, such as The Marco Polo Project, The Queen, and The Real Man of La Mancha. Fallis is also one of Canada’s leading interpreters of operatic and choral/orchestral repertoire, especially from the Baroque and Classical eras. 

Tickets and Info at: torontoconsort.org  

About The Toronto Consort (torontoconsort.org)
Since its founding in 1972, The Toronto Consort has become internationally recognized for its excellence in the performance of medieval, renaissance and early baroque music. Led by a collective of Artistic Associates, the group’s members are amongst Canada’s leading early music specialists, including both singers and instrumentalists on early plucked and bowed strings, flutes, keyboards, and percussion. The collaborative nature of The Toronto Consort’s creative process has led to diverse productions with other artists, such as actors, dancers, visual and multi-media artists, and guest specialists.

LISTING INFORMATION

 

The Toronto Consort presents
Schütz’s Christmas Story 
Date:             December 13–14 (8pm) and December 15 (3:30pm), 2019
Ticket Prices: $20–77 (taxes and fees included)
Address: Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall
427 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7
Tickets and Info: torontoconsort.org

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