Romancing Chopin

Romancing Chopin, The Audio Group (available through the Toronto Sinfonietta or Ronald Royer)
Valerie Tryon, piano; Nora Shulman, flute; Kaye Royer, clarinet; Conraad Bloemendal, cello; Toronto Sinfonietta, Matthew Jaskiewicz, conductor

~Fryderyk Chopin, arr. for Chamber Orchestra by Alexander Rapaport – Five Mazurkas, Op. 7
~Fryderyk Chopin, arr. for Cello and String Orchestra by Ronald Royer – Largo from Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 65
~Fryderyk Chopin, arr. for Cello and String Orchestra by Ronald Royer – Nocturne in Eb major, Op. 9, #2
~Fryderyk Chopin, arr. for Flute and String Orchestra by Ronald Royer and Alex Eddington – Variations  on a Theme by Rossini
~Ronald Royer – In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin (based on Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, #1) for Clarinet, Cello and String Orchestra
~Ronald Royer – Fantaisie Impromptu (based on Impromptu in Gb major, Op. 51, #3) for Flute and  String Orchestra
~Ronald Royer – Nocturne for Clarinet and String Orchestra
~Alexander Rapaport – Variations on a Theme of Chopin (based on Prelude in C minor, Op. 28, #20) for
Piano and Chamber Orchestra
~Fryderyk Chopin – Grande Polonaise Brilliante in Eb major, Op. 22 for Piano and Orchestra

In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin (Click to Play play)
In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin is based upon and inspired by the Nocturne in E Minor, Op. 72, No. 1 for piano.  In Memoriam serves as a reflection on the life, work and death of Chopin at the age of thirty-nine.  After a short introduction, a meditative section features violin trills and a cadenza for clarinet followed by one for cello.  A more rhythmic and energetic section follows, which is meant to suggest his struggles in life and creativity.  After a climactic section for the string orchestra, a more peaceful section shines through representing the beauty, joy and genius of Chopin’s legacy.

Fantaisie-Impromptu (Click to Play play)
The Fantaisie-Impromptu is a fantasy based upon the Impromptu No.3 in G flat Major, Op. 51 by Fryderyk Chopin, and strives to maintain the light-hearted spontaneity of the original.  Fantaisie Impromptu is in a Rondo form (ABACA), with an introduction and coda section.  The main melody (A section) makes use of the notes of Chopin’s main melody (with minor alterations), but changes Chopin’s rhythm and harmony to give the music a more 20th century feel.  The contrasting B Section is based upon a motive from the original Chopin melody while the C section is based on still another part of Chopin’s composition.  In the C section, the composer inserts one melody of his own, a Bartok-like folk melody.  The composition ends with an energetic coda, complete with a slight variation of Chopin’s own ending to his Impromptu.

Nocturne (Click to Play play)
The Nocturne for clarinet and string orchestra is not based on an original Chopin composition, but is instead inspired by Chopin’s music aesthetic and works as a whole.  The introduction of the Nocturne, beginning on the note “E”, gradually thickens harmonically, using suspensions, while the clarinet introduces a motive that evolves into the first theme.  The second theme is started in the lower register of the clarinet and then developed.  At the end, a short clarinet cadenza brings back material from the first theme.