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New CD “Mélancolies” from Julien Leblanc

After many years of performing as a concert pianist, working as the artistic director for the Barachois Summer Music Series and collaborating on a variety of critically acclaimed musical projects across Canada, Julien Leblanc has released his first solo album, a piano recording entitled Mélancolies

The album is a compilation of French compositions that became a staple of Leblanc’s repertoire after he discovered them early on in his career. The composers included in this recorded collection — Franck, Poulenc and Dutilleux — all hail from France and their combined output stretches from the mid-nineteenth century to Dutilleux’s last work which was published in 2009 when he was ninety-three.

Francis Poulenc was a less avant-garde contemporary of Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau and so, his work is accessible but inventive and fresh. Poulenc’s “Fifteen Improvisations” are known for their charming and buoyant character as well as for the technical artistry of the composer’s pedalling.

Henri Dutilleux’s work was more heavily influenced by his environmental context when he was composing music just after World War Two. The included piece by Dutilleux, “Sonata for piano”, denotes the turbulence, anguish and anxiety that pervaded during that period through his use of contrast — he juxtaposes rhythmic and jagged sections with sensual, dreamlike and ethereal parts.

Composing fifty years before Dutilleux and Poulenc, César Franck‘s “Prélude, choral et fugue” is religious and takes a cyclic form. In its closing coda, Franck masterfully superimposes the previous sections of his composition. The character of the work is philosophical and contemplative yet at the same time passionate and fervid.

Julien Leblanc connects these differing French compositions through his acute sensibilities and expressive piano playing. He fuses the works together with a consistent expression of melancholy which he identifies in each work.

Leblanc writes of this feeling in the notes of his album when he says ”A sense of melancholy pervades the pieces presented in this recording and I am especially attached to them. Be it dreamlike or loving, resigned or fatalistic, or caused by the absence of a loved one, this feeling of melancholy runs through these four pieces. As a shadow in the light, it contrasts with expressions of joy and happiness, intensifying them in the process. I present this recording to you humbly and with all my heart.”

 

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Leaf Music productions receive 2015 ECMA nominations

– THE 2015 EAST COAST MUSIC WEEK takes place April 8-12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland with the AWARDS GALA taking place Thursday, April 9.

HALIFAX, Jan. 29, 2015 /LEAF MUSIC INC./ – At yesterday’s announcement of the nominees for THE 2015 EAST COAST MUSIC AWARDS, three Leaf Music productions received nominations. Leaf Music is an independent recording label with an emphasis on high quality classical music recordings by Atlantic Canadian artists and composers. The label is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was established in 2012 by Fredericton-born music producer Jeremy VanSlyke.

Sackville, New Brunswick-based chamber ensemble Trio Arkaède received an ECMA nomination for their 2014 recording “Tour de France,” an exploration of the exotic musical landscape of early 20th Century Paris. La Scena Musicale calls the ensemble “three of Atlantic Canada’s best chamber musicians” and praised the album’s impressive curation of repertoire in a recent review. The group consists of flutist Karin Aurell, violinist Isabelle Fournier and pianist Julien LeBlanc. The recording garnered a nomination in the category of Classical Recording of the Year, alongside Roger Lord’s recent recording “Chinese Piano Treasures,” also produced by Leaf Music.

Roger Lord enjoys an active international career as a concert pianist, and teaches piano at Université de Moncton in New Brunswick. He has enjoyed great success with Chinese audiences, having given more than a hundred performances in the country. Throughout his travels in China over nearly two decades, he collected numerous short piano pieces based on Chinese folk songs that he chose to record on “Chinese Piano Treasures” in Beijing.

In the Gospel Recording of the Year category, Brunswick Street Baptist Church in Fredericton received a nomination for their recording “200 Christmases” which celebrates the congregation’s historic bicentennial with a recording that celebrates Christmas. With an eclectic blend of traditional choral and chamber music, as well as Christian Contemporary Adult holiday songs, the album was a favourite for Christian radio stations in the region during the 2014 holiday season.

 


 

About Leaf Music Inc. Leaf Music is the first integrated recording label in Atlantic Canada with a focus on the production of high quality classical recordings.

Web Links: Official ECMA Awards website: www.ecma.com Leaf Music Inc website: www.leaf-music.ca CARAS website: www.carasonline.ca Trio Arkaede Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trioarkaede

Twitter: Leaf Music – @LeafMusicInc image: http://www.leaf-music.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/trioarkaede.jpeg

For more information on Leaf Music and Trio Arkaede, contact:
Jeremy VanSlyke, 902.802.1526 or jeremy@leaf-music.ca
Karin Aurell, 506.536.8762 or karin.aurell@yahoo.ca

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‘Montage’ New CD from Saint John String Quartet

Join the ECMA award-winning Saint John String Quartet for the release of their new recording, Montage, on October 27 at 10:30 am.  Enjoy live performances by the quartet at Saint John Theatre Company, 112 Princess Street, in Saint John, NB.  This event is open to the public and admission is free.  For more information, contact (506) 657-5102.

Montage was recorded and produced by Jeremy VanSlyke and Leaf Music in early 2014.  It will be made available on CD as well as iTunes, Amazon and other digital music sources on October 27.  The recording features works for string quartet by composers with a connection to Atlantic Canada including Martin Kutnowski, Eldon Rathburn, Michael Miller, and Tony Genge.  The recording was made possible in part through a grant from the government of New Brunswick.  The recording was made at the beautiful Our Lady of Perpetual Hope church in Rothesay, NB and was the first time the group made a recording using high resolution 88.2/24 bit digital recording technology.  Leaf Music produced and mastered the group’s previous recording in 2011 Saint John String Quartet & Jacques Dupriez which garnered a JUNO nomination for ‘Classical Composition of the Year.’

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‘Tour de France’ New CD from ‘Trio Arkaède’

June 12, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Newly-established classical recording label, Leaf Music Inc., is pleased to announce the release of “Tour de France” by Trio Arkaède, an ensemble made up of three of Canada’s most astute chamber musicians.  This is the second CD release for the ensemble, which consists of violinist and violist Isabelle Fournier, flutist Karin Aurell, and pianist Julien LeBlanc.  The recording features chamber music by French composers from the early 20th Century including Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc as well as lesser-known works by Mel Bonis, Maurice Duruflé, Reynaldo Hahn and Philippe Gaubert.