Posted on Leave a comment

Alice Ho Releases New Album, “A Woman’s Voice”

“A Woman’s Voice” is an album written for female voices and piano. The repertoire is inspired by literature that celebrates the female spirit and their challenging, and changing, roles throughout history. The multi-lingual lyrics (English, French, and Mandarin) reflect the multicultural Canadian ethos and presents a wide spectrum of text, including ancient Chinese poems from the Tang Dynasty, a war poem by English poetess Charlotte Mew, as well as Alice Ho’s collaborations with seven Canadian writers across the provinces: Marjorie Chan, Madeleine Thien, Carole Languille, Phoebe Tsang, Tong Wang, Thomass Muir, Anna Camara, and Michael O’brien. These writers span a wide range, both in their racial and geographic diversity, as well as where they are in their careers. 

 “A Women’s Voice” features an “all Canadian” lineup. Many astounding young performers have contributed passionately to this album, including pianist/vocalist Jialiang Zhu, coloratura lyric soprano Vania Chan, soprano Katy Clark, soprano Maeve Palmer, soprano Ariadne Lih, mezzo-soprano Alex Hetherington, pianist/writer Tong Wang, and cellist Andrew Ascenzo

This recording intends to aim the spotlight at women’s empowerment and strength by leading the audience through a cross-cultural musicscape, and ultimately serves as a reflection on how women of the past and present navigate love, desire, grief, and hardship.

One of the most acclaimed composers writing in Canada today, Hong Kong born Alice Ping Yee Ho has written in many musical genres and received numerous national and international awards, including the 2022 Nova Scotia Symphony’s Maria Anna Mozart Award, 2022 Barlow General Commissioning Award, 2019 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize, 2016 Louis Applebaum Composers Award, 2014 Prince Edward Island Symphony Composers Competition, 2014 Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Friendship Orchestral Composition Competition, 2013 Dora Mayor Moore Award for “Outstanding Original Opera” for her opera The Lesson of Da Ji, and the 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composition Competition, K.M. Hunter Artist Award, du Maurier Arts Ltd. Her upcoming project is a new opera called CHINATOWN commissioned by City Opera Vancouver with renowned Canadian writer/librettist Madeleine Thien and Hoisanese co-writer Paul Yee, premiering September 13-17 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Posted on Leave a comment

Leaf Music & Christina Haldane Release First Single From Forthcoming Album, Tu me voyais

Leaf Music and Christina Haldane present Partons, la mer est belle, the first and only single from the forthcoming album, Tu Me Voyais, set to be released through Leaf Music on October 21, 2022. Carl Philippe Gionet’s arrangement of the evocative Acadian folk song Partons, la mer est belle is reimagined from a long lineage of interpretations from folk singers dating back to the 1800s.  

This traditional Acadian folk song reflects on the cyclical nature of life and the hardships of living and working on the ocean. The song stems from the aural tradition, where music and lyrics are passed down through generations without the use of notation or text, resulting in each new generation sculpting its own interpretation.   

Gionet’s arrangement focuses on achieving a balance between remaining faithful to the aural renditions he received in childhood and allowing Haldane’s tenor and inflection to drape a new interpretation over the music. Gionet’s arrangement is inspired by the 19th century Lieder style, in which the voice and piano share solo responsibilities and the spotlight equally. New harmonic colours provide depth to the musical landscape and expand the sonic palette of the piece. Certain liberties have been taken with the traditional text, including adding reprises to enhance the dramatic arc of the storytelling.   

Christina Haldane’s career spans the UK, Europe, Asia and North America, and she is currently based in Canada’s Atlantic provinces. She has interpreted many lead opera roles, having performed for opera houses such as The Finnish National Opera, The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Scottish Opera and Musica Viva Hong Kong. Her specialty is performing Handel’s Heroines, Comedic Bel Canto roles and Contemporary opera. Christina enjoys performing and curating recital and chamber music concerts, and she is often invited to perform with leading orchestras. Her exploration of contemporary music has led to many collaborations with composers, and she continues to bring their vocal works to life. Christina is a bilingual English and French speaker with Acadian heritage, and she is proud to be a citizen of Canada and Great Britain. 

Christina Haldane – Partons, la mer est belle 

Release Date: September 2, 2022 

christinahaldane.com 

leaf-music.ca 

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Brown | andrew@leaf-music.ca 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Charke-Cormier Duo Release “The Equation of Time”

 

Leaf Music and award-winning ensemble the Charke-Cormier Duo are proud to present The Equation of Time, the duo’s third full-length album and their second to feature a medley of different genres and styles. Recorded on opposite sides of the country, the Charke-Cormier duo recorded all tracks in Wolfville, NS, with Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Celso Machado recording percussion in Gibsons, B.C. 

The Equation of Time begins with Brazilian-Canadian guitarist and percussionist Celso Machado’s second book of music for flute and guitar; six dance and groove-based pieces on which the Charke-Cormier duo float effortlessly over the top. The versatility of bass flute and guitar is showcased again in Derek and Eugene’s more conventional performance of Wilhelmine von Bayreuth’s Sonata in A minor. Although the bass flute would be unknown to the work’s original performers in the mid-18th century, the bass flute’s warm and airy tone is reminiscent of the wooden transverse instruments that would have been in use at that time.  

The group follows this opening piece with renditions of pieces from 17th century Italian composers Girolamo Frescobaldi and 18th century German composer Wilhelmine Von Bayreuth before closing the album with Derek Charka’s “The Equation of Time”, a piece exploring the relationship between the passage of time and the listener’s experience of music. The piece sees Charke and Cormier oscillate between changing tempos and shifting perspectives. “The Equation of Time” is the second work that Derek has written for bass flute and guitar. With many improvisatory figures woven throughout the score, it was composed with the Charke-Cormier Duo’s skills as improvisers in mind. 

Derek Charke (flutes) and Eugene Cormier (guitar) formed the Charke~Cormier Duo several years ago culminating in a debut recital at the KC Irving Centre in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. This sonorous union of flute and guitar continues to charm audiences across the Maritimes. Their repertoire includes many of the most important works for this pairing of instruments, and creates a sonic journey for audiences from the street corners of Argentina to the halls of Europe, as well as introducing fresh new works created today. Both performers are highly accomplished musicians who are on the teaching faculty at Acadia University’s School of Music. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Christina Haldane and Duo Oriana Added to Leaf Music’s Roster

Leaf Music is thrilled to welcome two additions to the label’s roster, soprano Christina Haldane, and Duo Oriana.

Christina Haldane

Christina’s career spans the UK, Europe, Asia and North America, and she is currently based in Canada’s Atlantic provinces. She has interpreted many lead opera roles, having performed for opera houses such as The Finnish National Opera, The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Scottish Opera and Musica Viva Hong Kong. Her specialism is performing Handel’s Heroines, Comedic Bel Canto roles and Contemporary opera. Christina enjoys performing and curating recital and chamber music concerts, and she is often invited to perform with leading orchestras. Her exploration of contemporary music has led to many collaborations with composers, and she continues to bring their vocal works to life.

Christina’s first album with Leaf Music, Tu Me Voyais, is set for an October 21, 2022 release. The album is anchored around Carl Philippe Gionet’s new arrangements of Twelve Acadian Folk Songs, conceived for Christina’s voice. These arrangements are set in the 19th century Lieder aesthetic or art songwhere both voice and piano play equal solo parts within the musical architecture. ICARE: premier fragment, a newly commissioned work by Torontonian composer Adam Sherkin, set to a narrative poem by Carl, continues the evolution of contemporary Canadian French art song. The album concludes with Jérôme Blais’ two new arrangements for voice and piano, “Blanches, surtout” and “Il va sans dire,” from his original multimedia show Mouvance, set to poems by Acadian poets Léonard Forest and Herménégilde Chiasson.

Duo Oriana

Soprano Sinéad White and lutenist Jonathan Stuchbery are a Toronto based duo breathing life into song traditions that span centuries and evolve in the present day. Both are specialists in the performance of renaissance and baroque music and first started working together in the early music scene in Toronto. The desire to keep making music during the most restricted days of the COVID-19 pandemic brought them together as a duo for the first time to collaborate virtually for a recording and video of an old Irish lullaby. This led them to assemble a program of music from Ireland, Scotland, and England, which reflected their own respective heritages. A film version of this concert is available online presented by Humbercrest United Church as part of their 2021 summer concert series.

Duo Oriana’s debut album revolves around the contemplation of darkness, mystery, grief, rest, and quiet. Night-time has inspired people to tell stories since before the written word. This program for voice and lute weaves together many perspectives on the night from the courts and musical spheres of 17th century England and Italy, ancient folk melodies from Ireland, and new compositions. Recalling the monastic rites of vespers and compline, this program seeks to create a beautiful and sacred space to contemplate the darkness through the lens of ancient music.

Posted on Leave a comment

Leaf Music Proudly Presents Beethoven: Complete Music for Piano and Cello from cellist Robert deMaine and pianist Peter Takács

Halifax-based record label Leaf Music is pleased to announce the release of cellist Robert deMaine and pianist Peter Takács’s 2-disc album of Beethoven’s complete works for piano and cello. Set to be released July 8, 2022, this stunning collection showcases Beethoven’s unprecedented textures and formal innovations found in his sonatas for cello and piano. 

DeMaine is a master of Beethoven’s conversational tone and technical flourishes, playing with “lapidary technical precision, and a persuasive identification with the idiom of the music at hand.” Takács showcases the composer’s experiments in harmony and form with his noted ability to communicate musical interpretations. As the inventor of the modern cello sonata, Beethoven’s Op. 5 joins the cello and keyboard into a dialogue of near equals. 

While Beethoven’s compositions demonstrate his lifelong interest in counterpoint and move toward instrumental parity, his arrival was not immediate. deMaine and Takács take listeners on a journey through this progression, concluding with Op. 102 as Beethoven’s ideal balance, weaving their two instruments into a single unified texture of equal forces.

Robert deMaine is the Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and sought-after solo artist and chamber musician. His solo repertoire includes concertos by Haydn, Dvorak, Elgar and Penderecki. And as a recitalist, he is known for magnificent interpretations of J.S. Bach’s cello suites. A first-prize winner in many national and international competitions, deMaine was the first cellist ever to win the grand prize at San Francisco’s prestigious Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings. He is an exclusive Thomastik-Infeld artist, and performs on a cello made in 1684 by Antonio Stradivari.

Romanian-born Peter Takács has performed widely, receiving critical and audience acclaim for his penetrating interpretations. Takács has performed as a guest soloist with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, as well as at important summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Chautauqua Institution, and Sweden’s Helsingborg Festival. Since 2008 he has been a member of the faculty at the Montecito Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California. He performed and recorded the cycle of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas to critical acclaim in 2011.

Posted on Leave a comment

Leaf Music & Infusion Baroque Proudly Present “Virtuosa”

Leaf Music and award-winning ensemble Infusion Baroque present Virtuosa. Recorded at Église St-Agustin in Mirabel and Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique de Montreal in Quebec, Virtuosa is the ensemble’s first collaboration with JUNO-award winning producer Martha de Francisco. Virtuosa offers 14 pieces and almost two hours of music spanning 400 years. The album features Alexa Raine-Wright on flute, Sallynee Amawat on violin, Rona Nadler on harpsichord, and Andrea Stewart on cello and viola de gamba, with guest performances by soprano Ariadne Lih, Sari Tsuji on violin, and Gili Loftus on fortepiano. The group is celebrating the release of Virtuosa with a performance at the Montreal Baroque Festival on June 23, the eve before Virtuosa’s release.

An in-depth booklet and companion website display stories and artwork surrounding the women featured on the recording. The goal of the Virtuosa Project is to provide cultural and socio-economic context for the women’s lives, the music they wrote, and to highlight their accomplishments in a time saturated with adversity. As the members of Infusion Baroque delved deeper into the stories of the composers, they began to form a shared admiration for the depth of perseverance and passion they encountered.

Virtuosa is the culmination of many shared frustrations and conversations between the members of Infusion Baroque. “One of the most poignant thoughts brought about by Infusion Baroque’s Virtuosa Project exploration is that, had I been born during the time that the music on this album was composed, I would not have been allowed to play the flute, says flutist Alexa Raine-Wright. 

Underneath the Virtuosa Project umbrella is a web series dedicated to four women across the 18th and 19th centuries: Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia, Lise Cristiani, Teresa Milanollo, and Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre. Each composer is profiled in a mini-documentary, and accompanied by a companion video in which a piece written by or composed for the featured musician is performed. Each of the women featured is recognized as a pioneer in their field. There are also four pieces from four different male composers on the album, all of whom have in some way contributed to or supported the cause of women musicians during their time. 

Infusion Baroque draws new audiences to early music through a captivating concert experience, effortlessly connecting seasoned musicianship with theatrical flair. Playing music of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on historical instruments, the four women of Infusion Baroque enthrall audiences across North America with their creative and interactive programming.

~

Infusion Baroque – Virtuosa

Release Date: June 24, 2022

Physical/Digital Release

Download or Stream HERE

Infusionbaroque.com

leaf-music.ca


MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Brown | andrew@leaf-music.ca

Posted on Leave a comment

Infusion Baroque releases New Single, Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17

Halifax, NS – Leaf Music announces the release of Infusion Baroque’s new single
Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17 on May 13, 2022. Infusion Baroque’s new single release from
the album “Virtuosa” arrives today. Infusion Baroque offers their interpretation of one of
Clara Schumann’s masterpieces, Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17. Schumann’s
compositional skill is accentuated by Infusion Baroque’s deft treatment of the intricacies
and nuances of the composition.


The four-movement piece Piano Trio in G minor marks the sixth and final single of a
series of releases for Infusion Baroque’s album Virtuosa, to be released June 24, 2022. The
2-disc recording encompasses 15 works that were either composed or performed by women,
with all of the pieces recorded on historical instruments.


About Infusion Baroque
Infusion Baroque draws new audiences to early music through a truly captivating concert
experience, deftly combining seasoned musicianship with theatrical elements. Playing music
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on historical instruments, the four women of
Infusion Baroque enthrall audiences across North America with their creative and interactive
programming.



Infusion Baroque: Piano Trio In G Minor, Op 17
Release date: May 27, 2022

Infusionbaroque.com


MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Brown | andrew@leaf-music.ca |

Posted on Leave a comment

Leaf Music Proudly Presents Souvenirs of Auguste Descarries from Quebecois pianist Isabelle David

Souvenirs of Auguste Descarries is the debut solo album from Quebecois pianist, Isabelle David, set to be released May 27, 2022 through Halifax-based label, Leaf Music. The album includes 14 works from the distinguished Quebec pianist and composer Auguste Descarries. This prominent pianist holds a special place in Ms David’s musical background, as her maternal grandmother was one of the students who benefited from his teaching. This special link and the discovery of the composer’s manuscripts, led Ms David to pursue a doctorate in music performance where she devoted four years of research to Descarries’s piano works. 

Eight of the album’s recordings are unreleased works, adding to the original contribution of Quebecois piano literature. Ms David champions Descarries’s compositions through this beautiful collection.  After his passing in 1958, journalist Pierre Saucier wrote of Descarries in La Patrie, “Nobody could convey the message of the classic works with such verve. He was a master of phrasing, which is such a trite concept today. With his inspired improvisations, music came alive as if by, with a very personal twist.”

Nostalgie” was written in Descarries’ last years, featuring sophisticated harmonies and profound romantic expression. Isabelle David holds the honour of having performed the piece for the very first time during a recital at the Salle Claude-Champagne in September 2018. The manuscript for “Étude en sol majeur” was discovered by Ms David during her research in the Université de Montréal archives earlier that year.

The “Rhapsodie canadienne” was originally composed in 1927 as part of a Canadian competition intended to promote folk songs. Though it was not selected, Descarries revisited this work six years later and changed it from a small-orchestral piece to a large-orchestral piece. In December 2017, 60 years after its last performance, Ms David performed this piece with the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil, and again in 2018 with the Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville. Then in 2020, Ms David revived this work by transcribing it for solo piano, with its debut performance as part of her last doctoral recital that year.

This album is the culmination of all the work undertaken in the past few years. It is part of an endeavour shared with other musicians and music lovers who wish to raise the profile of Auguste Descarries’s great piano legacy. I trust you will enjoy the composer’s unreleased pieces, whose opus makes a very original contribution to the piano literature of Quebec. – Isabelle David

Isabelle David is a national award-winning pianist from Quebec, who made her debut as a soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal at the age of 17. Her involvement in various international festivals and competitions has led her to perform at Jordan Hall (Boston), Carnegie Hall (New York), Helsingin Musiikkitalo (Helsinki), and Zipper Hall (Los Angeles). She released her first album, The Wild Swans, with violinist Yolanda Bruno in 2019. The prominent pianist and composer Auguste Descarries, from Quebec, holds a special place in her family’s musical background, as her maternal grandmother was one of the students who benefited from his teaching. Throughout Ms David’s childhood, her grandmother shared cherished memories from the time she studied with the master. This special link to Descarries and the discovery of the composer’s manuscripts, now part of the Université de Montréal archives, led her to pursue a doctorate in music performance where she devoted four years of research to Descarries’s piano works. She completed her doctorate in 2020 and has created this album as a culmination of that work.

Souvenirs of Auguste Descarries

Release date: May 27, 2022

leaf-music.caIsabelleDavid.net

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Brown | andrew@leaf-music.ca

Halifax-based classical label, Leaf Music is excited to release the debut solo album from Quebecois pianist Isabelle David. The album includes 14 works by Quebec composer Auguste Descarries, eight of which have never before been released. The piece, “Rhapsodie canadienne” is filled with well-known French-Canadian folk themes and was transcribed for piano by Ms. David as part of her doctoral studies at the Université de Montréal. This album is a culmination of her doctoral work, and endeavors to honour Descarries’s great piano legacy.

Posted on Leave a comment

Leaf Music Distribution Proudly Presents SHANTIES! LIVE from La Nef and Chor Leoni

Halifax, NS – Leaf Music Distribution announces the release of the cross Canada collaborative album, Shanties! LIVE, on May 6, 2022. Featuring the acclaimed La Nef (Montreal, QC), shanty master Seán Dagher, and the voices of Juno-nominated Chor Leoni (Vancouver, BC) under the direction of Erick Lichte, the high-energy album contains rollicking sea shanties, haunting laments, and exhilarating sea songs. 

Shanties! LIVE was recorded live at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts in February 2020 at a performance presented by Early Music Vancouver. Originally conceived when members of La Nef were hired to sing sea shanties for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the program features songs of travel, adventure, and missing loved ones who are far away. The songs proved so addictive that La Nef presented them in concert in 2014, and its album, Sea Songs & Shanties, was released in 2017. La Nef has been touring this program ever since.

“Chor Leoni was the perfect instrument to bolster and complement our original crew,” says Seán Dagher, Musical and Artistic Co-Director of La Nef. “Our collaboration gave La Nef the opportunity to take the music even farther than we have on our voyage so far.” Seán is one of the most popular shanty experts and receives thousands of weekly views on his series Shanty of the Week. 

“These songs are buoyant, driving and devilishly catchy, and the collaboration between the two ensembles takes them to a really grand scale,” says Erick Lichte, Artistic Director of Chor Leoni. “The concert recording does an excellent job of conveying the excitement of the program and the enthusiasm of the audience. We hope this album leaves you humming the tunes and thinking of adventures on the high seas.”

The 14-song tracklist of Shanties! LIVE includes pieces specifically re-arranged for the collaboration between La Nef and the men’s choir, with new sections and new textures to fully exploit the possibilities offered by the combined ensemble. Soloists featured on the album include: Seán Dagher, voice/cittern; Nils Brown, tenor; Michiel Schrey, tenor; Clayton Kennedy, baritone; David Gossage, flutes/percussion/voice; Nelson Carter, violin/voice/percussion; and Bill Gossage, double bass/voice.

The album will be available for purchase and streaming online, and through Chor Leoni and La Nef beginning on May 6.

About Chor Leoni Men’s Choir (chorleoni.org)

Known internationally and loved locally, JUNO-nominated Chor Leoni is recognized as one of the vanguard male vocal ensembles in North America. Founded by the late choral luminary Diane Loomer and now led by Artistic Director Erick Lichte, Vancouver’s Singing Lions have enriched and transformed people’s lives through singing for 30 years. With stylistic grace and an adventurous spirit, Chor Leoni performs in many languages, styles and genres, always aiming to communicate, engage, and entertain.

About La Nef (la-nef.com)

La Nef is an ensemble that creates and produces music ranging from early music and ancient oral traditions to contemporary world music. Their creative approach to an array of distinctive styles has given them a unique musical signature. Their Musical Director and Artistic Co-director, Seán Dagher, is a composer and musical director also well-known for his “Shanty of the Week” video series.

SHANTIES! LIVE

Release date: May 06, 2022

leaf-music.caLa NefChor Leoni

MEDIA CONTACT: Catherine Little | catherine@leaf-music.ca | 902-579-9474

Halifax-based Leaf Music Distribution is excited to announce SHANTIES! LIVE from La Nef and Chor Leoni. This high-energy album features sea songs and shanties of all kinds from a one-night-only collaboration of these two choirs. Performed at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver, this program features arrangements and vocal orchestrations by Seán Dagher. These catchy sea songs speak of travel, adventure and missing loved ones who are far away.

Posted on Leave a comment

Isabelle David and James Wright added to the Leaf Music roster

Halifax-based classical record label Leaf Music is pleased to welcome two additions to the label’s roster, pianist Isabelle David and composer James Wright.

Praised for her “poetic and flexible virtuosity” (Helsingin Sanomat), Quebecoise pianist Isabelle David has performed internationally, at venues like Musiikkitalo (Helsinki), Jordan Hall (Boston), Carnegie Hall (New York), and Wilfrid-Pelletier Hall (Montréal). She is the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award, and Canimex Canadian Music Competition Grand Prize.


Set to release on May 27, 2022, her debut solo album, Souvenirs of Auguste Descarries includes 14 works from the distinguished Quebec pianist and composer Auguste Descarries. This prominent pianist holds a special place in Ms. David’s musical background, as the teacher of her maternal grandmother, pianist Louis Lussier. This special
connection, in conjunction with her discovery of Descarries’ manuscripts, led Ms. David to pursue a doctorate in music performance whereby she devoted four years of research to his piano works. Her work was awarded a Joseph-Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and eventually led to
the creation of this album.

After having taught at Wilfrid Laurier, McGill, Carleton, and the University of Ottawa, Canadian composer/musicologist James Wright is a Full Professor of Music in Carleton’s School for Studies in Art and Culture. Amongst his many accomplishments, he is distinguished as being the first musicologist in the history of McGill University to be awarded a Governor General’s Gold Medal.


November 4, 2022, is the anticipated date for the release of his album, De Mille Feux, which features Wright’s composition for string quartet, Ellen at Scattergood. This work is a commission by David Cray as a gift for his wife, Ellen, and as a reflection of their time together on Lac Scattergood, Quebec. American composer Dr. John Cornelius II writes: “Ellen at Scattergood is a really decisive string quartet with attitude! The pacing of the movements really allows the listener to get inside the piece, and it takes traditional forms and genres (Tarantella, Waltz, Rondo) and turns them on their ear. This is a brilliantly sophisticated work that has nothing to prove, except its composer’s audacity.” The album was recorded in July 2020 by the Andara Quartet of Montreal: Marie-Claire Vaillancourt (violin), Jeanne Côté (violin), Vincent Delorme (viola), and Dominique Beauséjour-Ostiguy (cello), with Veronica Galicia (recording engineer).