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Maureen Batt met en vedette “Lady of the Lake” de Walter Scott

Maureen Batt, une chanteuse soprano basée à Halifax, lance cette année son premier album Lady of the Lake, qui met en vedette sa voix captivante ainsi qu’une rencontre entre les univers de Schubert et de la compositrice canadienne Fiona Ryan.

“La musique d’une autre époque rejoint celle de Fiona, qui apporte aussi une voix moderne aux morceaux de Schubert. C’est spécial.”

Cette relation entre les mondes est soulignée sur Lady of the Lake par la contribution des deux compositeurs qui se sont inspirés du même poème de Sir Walter Scott. Batt livre ceux-ci avec brio, en saisissant les subtilités de chacun des univers musicaux, vocaux et lyriques de Schubert et Ryan.

“La musique classique moderne capte mon attention. J’aime chanter des oeuvres écrites par mes collègues et amis. Ça me donne de l’énergie.”

Batt avoue être enthousiaste à l’idée d’avoir endisqué les chansons de Ryan, écrites exclusivement pour ce disque.

“On connaît déjà bien l’oeuvre de Schubert. Tandis que beaucoup de compositeurs écrivent pour des musiciens, Fiona sait aussi écrire pour les chanteurs. C’est un talent spécial, selon moi. Nous sommes si chanceux d’avoir Fiona, ici, à Halifax.”

Lady of the Lake fut lancé cet été via l’étiquette Leaf Music et distribué par Naxos. L’initiative de faire appel à un compositeur canadien fut lancé par le propriétaire de Leaf Music.

“Je lui ai suggéré de demander à Fiona. Le projet au complet a pris trois ans, avec un total de six jours d’enregistrements, étalés sur deux semaines.”

Bien qu’elle ait étudié la musique, avec une maîtrise et un baccalauréat en poche, respectivement des universités de Toronto et Dalhousie, la relation de Fiona avec cette discipline artistique remonte à d’autres instruments comme le piano, le violon ou le saxophone.

“Quand j’étais adolescente, je faisais partie d’une chorale. D’autres filles me disaient qu’elles avaient des cours de chant en privée et j’ai fait part de cette information à ma mère.”

C’est là que c’est fait le déclic chez elle.

“Chanter c’était organique et bien plus naturel que lorsque j’étais au piano.”

C’est à l’école secondaire, à Fredericton, qu’elle s’est mise à perfectionner sa pratique grâce à des cours de chants qui lui ont permis de trouver sa voix.

“En dixième année, mon école secondaire présentait la comédie musicale Carousel, composée par Richard Rodgers. On a fait des auditions pendant une longue période de temps pour les divers rôles. Je voulais celui de Nettie qui interprète You’ll Never Walk Alone, qui allie la comédie musicale au chant classique. En répétant ce morceau avec ma professeure, j’ai commencé à apprendre à chanter d’une manière classique.”

De là, elle mène une carrière avec brio qui l’a amené tant à chanter, qu’à étudier, peaufiner et enseigner sa technique au Canada et aux États-Unis, en plus d’avoir également cofondé diverses compagnies.

“À l’école, on apprend l’histoire, les différents styles et la diction lyrique, mais il faut pratiquer le métier pour le comprendre. C’est un style de vie être chanteuse et il faut savoir prendre des risques et vivre ces expériences pleinement.”

 

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New album from Mark Fewer

Mark Fewer and Hank Knox’s new double album, J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019created in collaboration with independent label Leaf Music​, is now available for purchase.

Described as “genre-bending” by the National Post, and “intrepid” by the Globe and Mail, Juno Award-winning Mark Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim in virtually every role asked of a violinist, from the early baroque to the avant-garde. As one of today’s busiest musicians in the field of Early Music, Hank Knox is hailed internationally for his “colorful, kinetic performances” (AllMusic Guide) which “abound in vitality” (Early Music America). Together, this duo brings warmth and energy to these rarely-performed works: six sonatas for violin and harpsichord.

After his father’s death, CPE Bach wrote that “[the Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord]… are among the best works of my dear departed father. They still sound excellent and give me much joy, even thought they date back more than fifty years.” Interpreted now by a duo so well-suited for the eminently singable melodies, the Six Sonatas are indeed a pleasure to listen to. With the tour Bach Intime, Mark Fewer and Hank Knox will take these Six Sonatas to Midlands, ON (24-09-2017), Gatineau QC (29-10-2017), Prévost, QC (24-03-2018), and Hudson, QC (25-03-2018).

The album is now available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including NaxosAmazon, ​and iTunes​.

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Media Contact:
Jeremy VanSlyke, Leaf Music Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
jeremy@leaf-music.ca
tel: 1-902-802-1526

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New album from Robert DeMaine

Praised by the New York Times as “an artist who makes one hang on every note,” Robert deMaine is the Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His playing is noted for its “beautiful singing tone, lapidary technical precision, and a persuasive identification with the idiom of the music at hand.”

DeMaine’s latest recording on the Canadian classical label ‘Leaf Music’ contains cello sonatas by Sergei Rachmaninoff (Op. 19), Edward Grieg (Op. 36) and the beautiful Élégie, Op. 24 by Gabriel Fauré. The album is a collaboration with American pianist Andrew Armstrong and was recorded at Detroit’s Symphony Hall.

The album is available July 7, 2017 for purchase on compact disc through all major classical music retailers (Catalogue LM215), and on major digital music download and streaming providers.

The album is now available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including Naxos, Amazon, ​and iTunes​.

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Media Contact:
Jeremy VanSlyke, Leaf Music Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
jeremy@leaf-music.ca
tel: 1-902-802-1526

 

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Début album from soprano Maureen Batt

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canadian soprano Maureen Batt will be releasing her debut album LADY OF THE LAKE in collaboration with independent label Leaf Music​. Batt has joined forces with pianist Simon Docking, bass-baritone Jon Paul Décosse as well as the Halifax Camerata Singers to record two exciting song cycles based on the epic poem ‘Lady of the Lake’ by Sir Walter Scott.

Noted by Opera Canada as a “young, lovely and captivating soprano,” Batt is passionate about sharing Canadian contemporary music with the world. She is co-artistic director of Essential Opera, now in its seventh season, and has performed throughout the world in opera roles and as a recitalist.

The recording features a rare recording of Franz Schubert’s Op. 52 song cycle Sieben Gesänge aus Walter Scotts “Fräulein am See” (Seven songs from Walter Scott’s “Lady of the Lake”) combined with a newly composed cycle by Nova Scotia composer Fiona Ryan. While the Schubert cycle includes the famous melody ‘Ave Maria,’ the work is rarely heard in its full context among six lesser-known Schubert songs.

Ryan’s work includes a ‘Prayer’ inspired partly by Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ as well as a strong influence of folk traditions. She writes: “I draw upon Scottish (and Nova Scotian) folk music traditions in my songs. Some movements are very obviously influenced by Scottish folksongs, such as ‘Soldier’s Farewell’ (which could be as much at home at a folk music session in a pub as in a concert hall) and others draw inspiration from rhythmic patterns, ornamentation, and droning sounds found in Scottish bagpipe music.”

In 2017-18, Lady of the Lake will embark on a tour of Eastern Canada, and in 2018, dates will be added throughout Canada, and abroad. For all concert dates please see: maureenbatt.com and facebook.com/maureenbattsoprano.

The album will become available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including Naxos, Amazon, ​and iTunes​ June 23, 2017.

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This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government
of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement
du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

Leaf Music recognizes the support of the Music Nova Scotia Investment Program and The Province of Nova Scotia

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New album from Infusion Baroque

On the eve of an extensive U.S. tour, early music quartet Infusion Baroque releases their debut album 1747: C.P.E. Bach in collaboration with independent label Leaf Music​.  Infusion Baroque hosts an album release event on Sunday February 26, 2017 from 2-4pm at Café Les Oubliettes in Montréal, shortly following the album’s official release.

With performances described as “dynamic and alive” and a stage presence that is “poised and elegant”, the Montréal-based ensemble seeks to draw a new audience to early music by integrating chamber music performance and other artistic media.  Winners of the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition​, Infusion Baroque’s innovative programmes have featured live painting, scandalous stories from the lives of great composers, and an interactive murder mystery soirée.

The recording features five trio sonatas by C.P.E. Bach which were either written or extensively revised in 1747.  Combining early classical elegance with a wide emotional range, these sonatas are perfectly suited to Infusion Baroque’s refined, sensual, and expressive performance style.  The recording also showcases their impeccable ensemble playing and brilliant virtuosity.  Infusion Baroque has performed across Eastern Canada ​and the United States​, including appearances at the Montreal Baroque Festival, the Boston Early Music Fringe Festival, and the San Francisco Early Music Society.  In 2017 Infusion Baroque continues their U.S. tour including engagements with Early Music Now (Milwaukee), Renaissance & Baroque (Pittsburgh), Early Music in Columbus, the Houston Early Music Festival, and the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.

Infusion Baroque’s 2017-18 season includes engagements with the Early Music Guild (Seattle) and a tour of the Montréal region supported by the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.  For all concert dates please see: infusionbaroque.com

The album is now available for purchase on CD and for download on major digital music providers including Naxos, Amazon, ​and iTunes​.

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New album from Ensemble La Cigale

ENSEMBLE LA CIGALE RELEASES NEW CELTIC BAROQUE ALBUM ‘UP IN THE MORNING EARLY’

JANUARY 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal-based Ensemble La Cigale has released their new album Up in the Morning Early.  This is the group’s second full-length album and features a collection of rarely recorded gems from Celtic countries (Ireland, Scotland and Wales) performed on period instruments.  The ensemble’s first recording Tiorba Obbligata was nominated for Québec’s prestigious Opus prize for Album of the Year: Medieval, Baroque, Renaissance in 2014.

The group is led by Baroque music specialist Madeleine Owen who plays lute and theorbo and complemented by some of Canada’s best Baroque interpreters including Marie-Laurence Primeau (viola da gamba), Sara Lackie (harp), Vincent Lauzer (recorder), and Sari Tsuji (violin.)

The album is available for purchase on CD at ensemblelacigale.ca, and for download on major digital music providers including Amazon, iTunes, and for streaming on Apple Music, and Spotify.

 

 

About Leaf Music, Inc.

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in high quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.)  Our growing catalogue of recordings includes solo, orchestral and chamber music titles that are distributed worldwide and have received nominations at the JUNOs, East Coast Music Awards and OPUS.  We are also recognized as a leading provider of professional audio production, post-production services, and integrated music marketing for classical music in the region.

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Leaf Music announces distribution deal with Naxos

Naxos and Leaf Logos

Leaf Music is pleased to announce a new worldwide partnership with Naxos of America, Inc.   Effective September 1, 2016, Leaf Music’s catalogue will be exclusively distributed through Naxos with content soon to be available for streaming on the Naxos Music Library, as high resolution downloads on ClassicsOnlineHD.com and through the unClassified platform on major streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

The first new release under the partnership will be the debut album of Infusion Baroque, The Berlin Bach.  The Montreal-based ensemble won the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 Early Music America competition and will be touring throughout the USA and Canada in support of the new release.

“We’re pleased that this new agreement allows us to better serve our artists and audiences through greater resources and support from the world’s largest independent distributor of classical music,” explains Halifax, Nova Scotia based producer Jeremy VanSlyke, who founded Leaf Music in 2012.  “As the only classical recording label located in Atlantic Canada, we’re especially excited to offer fresh opportunities to classical artists and composers from this region who want to share their music with the world.”

 

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About Naxos of America, Inc.

Founded in 1991 in Pennsauken, New Jersey, Naxos of America, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Naxos Group, founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann.  As of October 2015, NoA physically distributes the Naxos labels and over 400 CD and DVD labels that bridge the many genres of music and performing arts. These include Sony Classics, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, LSO Live, Chandos, Opus Arte, BIS Classics, Brilliant Classics, Fanfare Cincinnati, Orfeo, PentaTone, and many others. This impressive roster of labels allows the Naxos of America sales team to approach retail each month with over 60,000 titles.  Whether servicing traditional retail accounts or direct-to-consumer orders, the location of the NoA warehouse allows shipments to reach 50% of the U.S. population within 48 hours.

Naxos of America is also the largest digital distributor of classical, jazz and world music. The catalogs and new releases of over 700 labels are delivered worldwide each month to hundreds of high resolution digital download, streaming and mobile sites such as Apple Music, Amazon MP3, HDtracks, Spotify, Pandora and ClassicsOnline HD, among others.

Aside from the success of NoA’s digital and physical distribution, Naxos Music Library has grown in North America to service 1,700 subscribers including libraries, universities, schools, school districts and other institutions. It is estimated that over 11 million students in North America have access to the Naxos Online Libraries.

About Leaf Music, Inc.

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in high quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.)  Our growing catalogue of recordings includes solo, orchestral and chamber music titles that are distributed worldwide and have received nominations at the JUNOs, East Coast Music Awards and ADISQs.  We are also recognized as a leading provider of professional audio production, post-production services, and integrated music marketing for classical music in the region.

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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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“Tour de France” named Chronicle Herald Pick of the Week

The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, NS)

What’sHap, Thursday, April 2, 2015, p. D3

Trio Arkaede Tour de France (Leaf Music); Pick of the Week

Classical, or orchestral, music doesn’t always get its fair share ofattention in this space, but it’s always a treat when an East Coast recording of note in this vein comes across my desk, and Tour de France by New Brunswick’s Trio Arkaede, on the Halifax label Leaf Music, hits on a lot of my melodic pleasure centres.

The country of origin of the trio’s selections is obvious in thetitle, with an emphasis on the early half of the 20th century, a period of great change extending from Mel Bonis’s sprightly Suite en Trio, Op. 59 to the dreamy expressionism of Claude Debussy’s Sonate pour Violon et Piano, L 140.

Sweden-born flautist Karin Aurell, violinist and violist Isabelle Fournier (also principal second violin with Symphony Nova Scotia) and pianist Julien LeBlanc revel in the era’s diversity, and perform with a great deal of mutual sympathy, especially on a piece like Reynaldo Hahn’s Romanesque in C Major, where Aurell and Fournier turn the tonal differences between their instruments to their advantage, and their perfectly synced layersof sound delight the ear.

For more info: www.leaf-music.ca

By Stephen Cooke

Arts Reporter

© 2015 The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, NS). All rights reserved.

 

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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