Choral Review – Apr. 9, 10
Toronto Symphony Orchestra – J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Reviewed by Paula Citron
Helmuth Rilling is perhaps the greatest conductor of Bach today. At 77, the maestro still makes exquisite music, and he led the TSO’s Mass in B Minor without a score. As my guest quipped: “Rilling is thrilling!”
Mass in B Minor is a monumental, complex work, and Rilling captured every nuance of the piece’s emotional arc. There were never any gaps. He led each section right into the next so the contrasts were vivid. – the bright trumpets of the “Gloria”, following the sombre tone of the “Kyrie”.
Rilling was ably abetted by Sibylla Rubens, soprano, Ingeborg Danz, contralto, Lawrence Wiliford, tenor and Andrew Foster-Williams, bass-baritone with the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers and Bach Festival Singers.
Germany’s Danz and Britain’s Foster-Williams were particular impressive – she for her honey burnished tone and he for his commanding lush sound. The mass contains many solo instrument parts and the TSO players did themselves proud.
Mass in B Minor continues at Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday.
Mass in B Minor
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Composed by J.S. Bach
Conducted by Helmuth Rilling
Starring Sibylla Rubens, soprano, Ingeborg Danz, contralto, Lawrence Wiliford, tenor and Andrew Foster-Williams, bass-baritone with the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers and the Bach Festival Singers
Roy Thomson Hall, Apr. 8 and 10, 2010