The Toronto Consort will play in Creston on Nov. 21.

Toronto Consort returning to Creston for Nov. 21 concert

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The Creston Concert Society is pleased to present the return of the Toronto Consort, the internationally recognized ensemble known for their excellence in the performance of medieval, Renaissance and early baroque music, on Nov. 21.

Founded in 1972, the Toronto Consort is heard frequently on Canadian and international radio and television and has appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as the North German Radio Orchestra. Its many recordings include the Juno-nominated Full Well She Sang.

The group’s success can largely be attributed to artistic director, David Fallis, who, “rather than keeping these historical treasures shrouded in thick glass, [takes] them out for an energetic airing, carefully shaping and highlighting the music and its complex architecture.” (Toronto Star) The group has received strong and positive reviews nationally and internationally from Glasgow, London, Vienna and Munich.

Featuring leading specialists on period instruments and voice, this delightful group, who brought Creston the wonderful show “The Da Vinci Codex” in 2010, will present “The Perfect Ambassador”, a story of Renaissance diplomacy in all its shades.

Bearers of lavish gifts, writers of secret dispatches, and keen observers of courtly life, Renaissance ambassadors were wonderful chroniclers of cultural achievements, local customs and dramatic events. And often their accounts describe music-making of the period. (Indeed, a number of Renaissance musicians were known to be engaged in what today we would call “intelligence gathering.”) This fascinating program combines words, music and images, creating an exploration into the intriguing world of 16th century diplomats and the musical riches they encountered.

This fully scripted show, which has toured with great success this over the past two years, includes music from Renaissance Spain, France and England, together with readings from the time, including excerpts from the writings of Machiavelli, Sir Thomas Bodley (founder of the Bodleian Library) and Francisco de Vitoria, considered by many as the father of international law.

Sound overwhelming? Rest assured, this is a show of large appeal! The Calgary Herald states the Toronto Consort’s performances are “an ideal demonstration of how interesting, informative and entertaining an early music concert can be. The works presented were attractive, even to the non-initiate, and were performed with skill and precision. This was no stuffy academicism but rather a concert of worthy, quality music by performers who love what they do.”

With lute, hurdy-gurdy, viol, recorder, harpsichord and voices, the Toronto Consort brings alive the fascinating world of Renaissance diplomacy. Who would have known “The Perfect Ambassador” would be so timely? Thanks to WikiLeaks, we are all aware of contemporary diplomatic scandals.

The Toronto Consort performs at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Prince Charles Theatre. Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for students in advance, available at Black Bear Books, or $25 and $12 at the door.

For more information, email info@crestonconcertsociety.ca or like the Creston Concert Society on Facebook and keep up-to-date on upcoming shows and music news, and find out how to share the joy of music this holiday season with a three-pack Christmas bundle.

— CRESTON CONCERT SOCIETY

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