Melos Star in the East II Concert a Standout
Melos Choir and Period Instruments ushered in the Advent and Christmas season with an outstanding concert. The beautiful interior of St. George's Cathedral in Kingston's historic downtown echoed with chant, period instruments, solo vocal ensembles, and full choir with instruments and organ. Along with period readings in Middle English and Gaelic, Melos led the audience from the Advent foretelling of the birth of Christ and the announcements of angels, to the celebration of the birth itself. The audience was treated to sounds rarely heard in Kingston including a number of Medieval chants, from the medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen, and others. Cantor Mina Narouz sang an even earlier chant (pre-500 AD) from the early Egyptian church, which was spell-binding. It set the tone for two other pieces from the Middle East: an ancient Sufi dance performed by the period instrumental ensemble, and a Medieval Armenian Christmas carol. French Noels and familiar German Christmas Chorales rounded off the program.
The audience was very appreciative, giving a long standing ovation. Many people remarked on the beauty of the music and the sensitive attention to programming. Several people becaame "converts" to Early Music, and intend to come to future Melos concerts.
Melos is grateful for the CKAF grant which supported a number of workshops with Toronto Consort members this past fall, particularly around the Middle Eastern repertoire. In response to audience support and requests for recordings, music from this "Star in the East II" concert will be made available on a CD which Melos is planning to record in 2017.
A Happy and Musical New Year to All!