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Catalogue | Highlights

Listen to samples of some of our projects, and read about the artists and the recording sessions, etc.

Highlights Volume 1
Highlights Volume 2

To learn more about current and recent projects that Chestnut Hall Music is involved in, follow this link to cHm Projects.



Prelude for the Night of the Lunar Eclipse

Timothy Corlis

Ben Bolt Martin, cello; Heather Dawn Taves, piano.
Recorded at St George's Anglican Church, Guelph, Ontario. From CD Notes Towards.  Released May 2008.

Notes Towards a Poem that Can Never Be Written (excerpt from Mvt 1) 

Timothy Corlis
DaCapo Chamber Choir: Leonard Enns, conductor. Ben Bolt-Martin, cello; Sheila Dietrich, soprano; Bruce Dows, narrator; Michael Woods, percussion. Recorded at St George's Anglican Church, Guelph, Ontario.  From CD Notes Towards. Released May 2008.  Juno nomination 2009 for Classical Composition of the Year.

“Good art in one form often inspires good art in other forms.

This is certainly the case with Notes Towards, an artistically engaging and emotionally moving album produced by local composers, musicians and vocalists combining chamber music with choral and spoken word. The centrepiece is the 2009 Juno nominated Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written, a poem by Margaret Atwood set to music by Timothy Corlis. The large-scale choral piece was commissioned by Leonard Enns and the DaCapo Chamber Choir. The album also features Corlis' Prelude for the Night of the Lunar Eclipse and Western Projections, in addition to As Through a Glass Darkly, a song cycle by Heather Dawn Taves, and Cello Sonata No. 1 by Enns.

St George's Anglican Church, Guelph OntarioThe soloists include cellist Ben Bolt-Martin, Jerzy Kaplanek on violin and Michael E. Wood on percussion and Taves on piano, with soprano Sheila Dietrich, tenor Brandon Leis and Stratford Shakespeare Festival actor Bruce Dow as a narrator.

The stated aim of the recording project is "to speak out against the injustices of our modern world in a way that is uniquely possible through music and poetry." It's a lofty but necessary goal in these troubling times. All I can say is mission accomplished.”  (Robert Reid reviewing the album NotesTowards, The Record, July 10, 2008.)

"Occasionally we find a CD that truly stands out from the rest, and here is one, certainly. Timothy Corlis is a composer of great depth and passion, not to mention a pristine, polished craft. The opening Prelude for the Night of the Lunar Eclipse, a post-impressionistic duet for cello and piano, draws you in compellingly.
   The title track follows, for chorus and narrator with soloists; a shattering experience of Margaret Atwood’s nearly brutal poetry, linked with Corlis’ masterful writing. It is twenty-five of the most intense minutes of listening you are likely to experience. The DaCapo Chamber Choir is in top form."  (John S. Gray reviewing the album NotesTowards,WholeNote Magazine, September, 2008.) 

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, Mvts 1& 3 (excerpt) 

Edvard Grieg
Guelph Symphony Orchestra: Simon Irving, conductor. Todd Yaniw, piano. Recorded live at the River Run Centre. From CD Northern Lights. Released March 2008.
GUELPH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Northern LightsGuelph Symphony OrchestraIn 2003, the Guelph Symphony Orchestra became Canada’s newest symphony orchestra, with a four concert regular season program, and its home at the 800 seat River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Directed by Simon Irving, the orchestra presents a broad range of exciting and accessible classical music and has established a loyal audience and rising artistic standards. The 40 plus ensemble comprises professional and experienced amateur musicians from the Guelph area. 
 21 year old pianist Todd Yaniw performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini to critical acclaim with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Peter Oundjian in November 2005; Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra directed by Simon Irving in April 2006, Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra in February 2007 conducted by Alastair Willis, and Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jacques Israelievitch in March 2007. In April 2009, he will once again appear with the Toronto Symphony, performing Liszt’s 1st Piano Concerto.
The Grieg piano concerto was recorded at a live performance on February 17, 2008 in the River Run Centre, and released by the GSO on their CD Northern Lights, in March 2008.


Ouverture La Finta Giardiniera W.A. Mozart

L’Académie Baroque de Montréal: Alex Weimann, conductor; Suzie LeBlanc, Artistic Director. Recorded live at Montreal Baroque Festival, June 2006.
L’Académie Baroque de Montréal is a newly formed early music ensemble with Alex Weimann, music director and Suzie LeBlanc, Artistic Director with colleagues Guillaume Bernardi and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière.. Its first major performance was a collage mounting in full costume and with dance choreography of opera excerpts from two lesser known Mozart operas La Finta Giardiniera and Lucio Silla, and was presented at the Montreal Baroque Festival in La Chapelle de Notre-Dame de Bon Secours in Old Montreal in June, 2006.
   The ensemble was created especially for the Montreal Baroque Festival, which has taken place annually in scenic Old Montreal over four days at the end of June ever since 2003.  In addition to its on-going regular activities in Montreal and Vancouver, the Academy's next major production is scheduled at the Winter Olypmics in Vancouver in 2010.
   This recording was made live in concert at the closing of the festival during a particularly long heat spell, with temperatures on stage rising well into the mid-30s Celsius.

Resonet in laudibus

trad. arr. Michael Purves-Smith
Greensleaves: From CD A Gift of Christmas Past. Released 2004, Chestnut Hall Music.
Greensleaves is a south-western Ontario based music ensemble specializing in early music. This recording features Michael and Shannon Purves-Smith recorders, Magdalena Tomsinska, lute, and Anne McKenzie, viol with guest artists; Stephanie Kramer, soprano; Jake Neeley, tenor; and Daniel Cabena, male alto.
   The recording was made at the Faculty of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo and is from CD A Gift of Christmas Past, released 2004 on Chestnut Hall Music.

In Quiet Woods, Op. 71, No 4 (excerpt)

Edvard Grieg
Sandra Mogensen: piano. Recorded at Glenn Gould Studio, December 2006. From CD The Piano Music of Edvard Grieg. Released 2007, Chestnut Hall Music.
SANDRA MOGENSEN: Piano Music of Edvard GriegA celebration of the centenary of this great Norwegian composer (1843-1907): "beautiful repertoire, played with great care and insight by a remarkable pianist". In Grieg’s later years, he arranged some of his early songs as piano pieces, eleaborating them enough o make real piano compositions, but retaining the melodiousness of the vocal line. In this CD, five of these arrangements are mixed in with a selection of piano works including In Quiet Woods, mostly taken from the Lyric Pieces, published in the late 1800s.
   Pianist Sandra Mogensen has performed widely in concert as soloist and accompanist in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Sandra has received much praise for her work as a recitalist committed to the art song repertoire. Recent performances include collaborations in recital with Canadian baritones Brett Polegato and James Westman; bass-baritone Gary Relyea, and bass Paul Sketris, with whom Ms. Mogensen has recorded a CD of Schubert’s Winterreise. Sandra has performed much chamber music repertoire and holds the position of Faculty Pianist at the annual National Music Camp on Lake Couchiching.
   This recording was made in the Glenn Gould Studio of the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto, December 2006 and released on the Chestnut Hall Music label in 2007. 
   “That is the deftest feather-lightest touch I’ve ever heard for the Grieg.”(Jurgen Gothe, CBC Radio Two)

"A satisfying disc, worth repeated listening." (Wholenote Magazine)

Journey (excerpt)

Jeremy Moyer

Jeremy Moyer: erhu, gaohu, yehu; Kevin Ramessar, guitar; Kevin Muir, bass; Tony Snyder, horn; David Hall, organ. Recorded at Blenheim Retreat Centre, New Dundee and Blessed Sacrament Church, Kitchener, December 2002.
Jeremy Moyer 2004In the early winter of 2003, Jeremy Moyer and Chestnut Hall Music set up studio in a quiet retreat centre outside of New Dundee, Ontario and began to work on a project that is a unique fusion of eastern and western sounds featuring Chinese erhu, gaohu, and coconut shell fiddle; classical guitar; African kalimba, Indian tabla, acoustic bass, French horn and various percussion instruments. Ten years earlier, Jeremy had lived in Taiwan for several years. There he met Zhang Shidong, an elderly Taiwan erhu artist (then 78 years old), who inspired him to dig deeper into the world of this instrument. Through playing the traditional Taiwanese coconut shell fiddle,
Jeremy was exposed to a whole new world of folk songs, folk opera tunes and ancient court and religious music - most of which passed down in an oral tradition.
 Jeremy recently returned to China with his beloved erhu, settling in Shanghai, and then married and moved with his Chinese wife to Zhujiajiao, the "Venice of Shanghai," an ancient water town in suburban Qingpu District.
   Now, he is pursuing his dream in the countryside, improvising on traditional Chinese folk music to create his own "world music." His sense of his instrument is being nurtured and we have begun to work again on the CD. Some of the fiddle tracks may well end up being recorded in remote locations, as Jeremy takes a remote digital recorder with him as he travels.
    He has built a studio in his home, and through the Internet, we can exchange files and work on the mix, which we are now producing in both stereo and surround sound, which opens up a whole new world of exploration. East meets West.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

French carol, arr. John R. Van Maanen
Grand River Chorus: Richard Cunningham conductor. Recorded at W Ross School for the Blind, Brantford, Ontario. From CD A Grand Christmas. Released October, 2007

The Grand River Chorus of Brantford is a mixed voice concert choir presenting an annual series of classical choral music. From its inception, the Grand River Chorus has performed to a high choral standard. Today, under artistic director Richard Cunningham, the sixty-five voice choir prepares for its four major concerts each season, and the chorus exists as a vital part of Brantford’s artistic community. In the fall of 2007, the choir recorded its first CD A Grand Christmas featuring original and arranged works written by the wealth of wonderful composers in the Grand River area.
   Recorded at St Basil’s Roman Catholic Church and the W Ross School for the Blind Recital Hall in Brantford, Ontario, the Grand River Chorus is proud to make use of their regional talents for this special recording project.

Romantic Variation (from 400 Year Concert)

Helmut Lipsky

Suzie LeBlanc, soprano; Helmut Lipsky, violin; Alex Weimann, piano; Jean Francois Martell, bass. Recorded at La Chappelle Historique du Bon Pasteur, Montreal, 2005.

The extraordinary tale of a concert that took place one Sunday afternoon in 1608... and lasted four centuries.
“On a stormy November day in 1608, the inhabitants of a remote country parish gather for a concert in a small secluded church. Arriving at the last moment in a mysterious horse drawn carriage, the musicians disembark and head for the stage with their instruments.
   La Chappelle Historique du Bon PasteurAs the first musical notes resonate throughout the hall, a torrential rain pours down upon the church and the concert takes a magical turn. The music evokes the imagination of the audience, summoning their hidden memories and deepest desires. It triggers secret impulses and incites the occurrence of surprising events. It orchestrates the movement of day into night, the changing of seasons, and the passing of years.
   Slipping through time, the ever-changing music plays onwards, drawing everyone’s life along behind it, until the concert comes to a dramatic end…”
   The Romantic Variation is from the 400 Year Concert, with music by Helmut Lipsky, and performed by musicians Helmut Lipsky, violin; Suzie LeBlanc, soprano Alex Weimann, keyboards; Jean-Francois Martell, bass; Pierre Tanquay, percussion.
It was produced/engineered at La Chappelle Historique du Bon Pasteur, Montreal, Quebec and mixed at Chestnut Hall Music, Kitchener, Ontario and Klaus Studios, Kyborg, Switzerland by Earl McCluskie.

Standin' In the Need of Prayer

Stephen M. Lee
Music of Stephen M. Lee (Loyola University, New Orleans) with the Choirs of Trinity United Church and Kitchener Church of God, Kitchener, Ontario, director Alan C. Whitmore
The American composer Stephen M. Lee was a resident of New Orleans and personally suffered through the chaos of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He had been asked to share music for the opening of a conference to address the “human response” of those two disasters. Lee wanted to create a composition that would provide a space for the many to grieve and express this grief in the community.
    “There are universal themes of suffering, loss, hope and faith embedded in Stand By Me that anyone who is in the midst of life’s struggles can sing with conviction".
   The work is a narrative with Stephen Lee leading the way delivering a powerful baritone voice and piano accompaniment.  Accompanied by the choirs of Trinity Anglican Church and Kitchener Church of God and bass, drums, and Hammond organ, soloists, Aileen Bennett, Irene Grozelle, Venantius Dorleon, Jennifer Spaulding, Brian Black and Robert Grundy are a musical testament to hard work and the meaning of the words. The music is linked with a narration provided by the composer, Aileen Bennett and Ann Dubé.

The recording session was followed the next day by a live performance, to which the audience responded with an energy that filled the church!

C Jam Blues

Duke Ellington
Srinakarinwirot Wind Orchestra: (Bangkok Symphony Orchestra), Bangkok, Thailand. Harry Currie, conductor. Recorded in honour of the 50th birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn celebrations   In January 2005, through a royal decree from His Majesty King Bhumibol, the president of Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, invited conductor Harry Currie to participate in 50th birthday celebrations for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Harry flew to Thailand, assembled a big band comprised of Bangkok Symphony musicians, trained them and recorded a number of standard jazz tunes, and several compositions of the king himself, who is an accomplished jazz trumpeter and composer, having performed with such jazz legends as Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton and Maynard Ferguson.
   When it came time to mix, the producers wanted a sound with the kind of punch associated with the big band style, so Harry returned from Thailand and brought back the master recording tracks to Chestnut Hall Music for re-mixing.

 Happy Birthday, Princess!

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

arr. Michael McClennan

Irvine Sisters, vocals; Harry Currie and the Windjammers. Recorded live at the Centre-in-the-Square, Kitchener, Ontario April 2006.
The Windjammers’s first recording, Swingphonic, featuring the music of celebrated American jazz composer Sammy Nestico, was a big success in Canada and the US, earning numerous accolades both for its performance virtues and its recorded sound. It was in fact this recording which the Princess of Thailand heard on a visit to New York, and took home to her father, the King, which inspired his birthday gift to her. 
    Under Harry Currie, this big band now performs each year pops concerts in South Western Ontario, including at the River Run Centre and the Centre in the Square, Kitchener, often with guest artists such as Dinah Christie, Heather Bambrick, the Irvine Sisters and Peter Appleyard. This recording is from a performance at the Centre in the Square, Kitchener in April, 2006.


Copyright 2015 Chestnut Hall Music


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