Romancing Chopin

Cambria Master Recordings, 2015

Valerie Tryon-Piano, Nora Shulman-Flute, Kaye Royer-Clarinet, Conraad Bloemendal-Cello

Toronto Sinfonietta, Matthew Jaskiewicz-Conductor


“Conductor Matthew Jaskiewicz conducts the Toronto Sinfonietta in Romancing Chopin, an ambitious album that brings together several exceptional soloists and a pair of Canadian composers in a tribute to Chopin’s continuing legacy. Ronald Royer, composer in residence with the ensemble, contributes three substantial works of his own as well as several arrangements of Chopin’s chamber works…quite a fascinating release.” –

WholeNote Magazine, Daniel Foley 


Ronald Royer – In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin, for Clarinet, Cello and String Orchestra (7:41)

Kaye Royer-Clarinet, Conraad Bloemendal-Cello, Matthew Jaskiewicz-Conductor

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.

Ronald Royer – Fantaisie-Impromptu, for Flute and String Orchestra (5:53)

Nora Shulman-Flute, Matthew Jaskiewicz-Conductor

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.

Ronald Royer – Nocturne, for Clarinet and String Orchestra (7:54)

Kaye Royer-Clarinet, Matthew Jaskiewicz-Conductor

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.


1-5. Fryderyk Chopin: Five Mazurkas, 7, arr. for Chamber Orchestra by Alexander Rapaport (2:29, 4:39, 2:42, 1:33, 1:22)

6. Fryderyk Chopin: Largo from Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 65, arr. for Cello and String Orchestra by Ronald Royer (4:13)

7. Fryderyk Chopin: Nocturne in Eb major, Op. 9, No. 2, arr. for Cello and String Orchestra by Ronald Royer (5:07)

8. Fryderyk Chopin: Variations on a Theme by Rossini, arr. for Flute and String Orchestra by Ronald Royer and Alex Eddington (6:04)

9. Ronald Royer – In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin (based on Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No. 1) for Clarinet, Cello and String Orchestra (7:41)

10. Ronald Royer – Fantaisie Impromptu (based on Impromptu in Gb major, Op. 51, No. 3) for Flute and String Orchestra (5:53)

11. Ronald Royer – Nocturne for Clarinet and String Orchestra (7:54)

12. Alexander Rapaport – Variations on a Theme of Chopin (based on Prelude in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20) for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (12:41)

13. Fryderyk Chopin – Grande Polonaise Brilliante in Eb major, Op. 22 for Piano and Orchestra (9:54)

Premieres: Conrad Chow, Violin

Cambria Master Recordings, 2012

Conrad Chow-Violin, Sinfonia Toronto, Ronald Royer-Conductor & Bruce Broughton-Piano

“Royer gives us a great vehicle and Chow plays his music with great finesse. I definitely want to hear more from this composer.” 

FANFARE, Maria Nockin

Introduction by Conrad Chow

The focus of this CD centers on the concept of the Premiere: the first showing of, or introduction to, something new. To that effect, I’m honoured to present each of the works on this CD for the first time on a recording. While new, each piece is inspired by earlier musical styles: Bruce Broughton’s Triptych evokes elements of the Baroque, 20th-century Prokofiev, and Celtic fiddle music of Scotland; his Gold Rush Songs are based on traditional American folksongs. Ronald Royers’s Rhapsody was inspired by rhapsodies of the mid-19th to early 20th centuries; the inspiration of his In Memoriam J.S. Bach needs no explanations. Kevin Lau’s Joy is inspired by turn-of-the-century Romanticism, as well as film music. Finally, I chose to include a favourite of mine, Chopin’s Nocturne in C# Minor, as an encore.

Ronald Royer – Rhapsody for Violin and Chamber Orchestra (12:43)

The Rhapsody draws inspiration from a variety of European sources, including French Impressionism, German Expressionism, Hungarian folk music, and virtuosic Spanish violin music. Combining all these disparate styles of music, ranging from Ravel and Bartok to Sarasate, allowed me to create a new work based on a traditional and popular form. Composing took place in three comfortable locations, my home in Toronto, my in-laws’ home in the rural Ontario town of Cayuga and my parents’ home in Los Angeles. This also helped in giving me the right ambience and variety of influences for this enjoyable endeavor. The Rhapsody was commissioned by the Orchestras Mississauga (John Barnum, music director) with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Ronald Royer – In Memoriam J.S. Bach (Sarabande and Capriccio) for Violin Solo, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, String Quartet and Harpsichord (5:58 & 5:51)

In Memoriam J.S. Bach (2011) is a new arrangement of two movements from the Partita for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, composed in 2000 to honor the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach in 1750. In Memoriam takes its inspiration from Bach’s compositional mastery, as well as his ability to compose expressive and virtuosic music.

My Sarabande is based on the first two bars of the Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor. The second part of this movement is more emotional in character and is based on the Allemande from Bach’s keyboard Partita No. 4 in D major.  I had to do some juggling with the rhythm, since Bach’s Allemande contained four beats per bar. One beat from each bar had to be removed to fit the three-beat form of the Sarabande.  The original melody is heard again at the end of the movement, overlaid by a florid counter-melody by the solo violin.

Capriccio, an Italian word-meaning whim or fancy, was used by Bach as a title of two of his compositions for keyboard. I chose this title to describe a work which combines a more contemporary style with Bach’s compositional techniques, as well as highlighting the humour of these works.

The Capriccio is a playful variation of a Bach Gigue, transformed into a classical era Rondo (ABACABA) form. The original A theme in G minor is written to imitate a Bach Gigue, although the rhythm is irregular, switching between five, six, or seven beats per bar. The B section begins with a darker and smoother version of the A theme, before leading into a series of Bach-like sequences. The C section enters in the new key of E minor and is derived from the first four bars of the A melody, but appears in retrograde (i.e. played backwards). This incarnation of the A theme assumes a Latin American character, as found in the music of Alberto Ginastera. When the A section returns, it is in the form of a Bach Fugato, although the rhythm is still irregular. The returning B and A sections are in an ornamented form, another Bach technique. There follows a short cadenza for the solo violinist, which leads into the final coda section with its homage to Bach’s cadential endings.

The Hollywood Flute of Louise DiTullio

Cambria Master Recordings

Louise DiTullio-Flutes
Sinfonia Toronto, Ronald Royer-Conductor

This CD was recently evaluated by me and I believe it is one of the best soloist performances of film music in recent years. Louise DiTullio’s flute playing is flawless and the choice of film music is outstanding, especially the suite from HOOK, arranged by Mark Watters. Also, the selections arranged by Ronald Royer make for very enjoyable listening. Because of its excellence I am designating this CD as Editor’s Choice, Best of the Month. It fully deserves any accolades it might receive.

Roger Hall, Film Music Review, November 2010

This recording fulfills my own personal goals to revisit and record some of the solos I have played in films over my long career as well as concert music written for me by celebrated film composers. I have had long-standing professional relationships with all of the composers on this disc over several decades, having played on more than 1,200 movies, many of them scored by these composers. Le Papillon was written for me by David Rose in 1980 and I played its premiere in the same year. It has been my wish ever since to help secure a place for it in the flute repertoire with a recording.

Born in Los Angeles, the progeny of two wonderful, highly respected musical families,  I grew up as a musician with the support, encouragement and advice of my father, several uncles and cousins, all busy, working professionals.  My father, cellist, Joseph DiTullio, my sister, pianist Virginia DiTullio Royer, and I performed for many years as the DiTullio Trio. Living in Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to pursue simultaneous careers in recording as well as all facets of classical music.

Words can never express my gratitude to John Williams, John Barry, Danny Elfman, Laurence Rosenthal, and posthumously, Jerry Goldsmith and David Rose, for the honor of playing in their orchestras for literally decades. Their music has filled me with joy and provides an outlet for music-making of an entirely different kind.  Although I love playing classical music, playing movie music of the quality that they produce completes a musical circle for me that I value beyond measure.  I thank them for allowing me to adapt and include their music in this presentation.  Thank you to David Rose Publishing for commissioning the reduced orchestration of Le Papillon to make this recording possible, and for permission to make this first recording of the work.  Thanks also to Larry Rosenthal for his permission to make the first recording of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.  Special thanks to composer Mark Watters for his remarkable adaptation and orchestration of the music to Hook.  And finally, special recognition and thanks to my nephew, Ronald Royer, for composing Short Stories for this CD, arranging the movie music and Le Papillon, conducting the recording sessions, and taking care of a myriad of details as the project’s co-producer. It is largely due to his efforts that this CD was conceived and became a reality.

Finally, now that it is complete, there is the realization and satisfaction that there is more than an hours’ worth of new repertoire for the flute.  It is at once beautiful, challenging, fun, and musically rewarding.  I take great satisfaction in sharing this music as a legacy to future flutists.  May they enjoy playing it as much as I.

Louise Di Tullio, August, 2009

Short Stories for Flutes, Harp, Percussion & String Orchestra

Siren’s Song, for Alto Flute (4:07)

Rather Blue, for Bass Flute (3:23)

The Chase, for Flute (2:55)

Child’s Play, for Piccolo (3:24)

Commissioned by Louise DiTullio for The Hollywood Flute CD Recording and Concerts, Short Stories was composed to showcase the varied tone colors and techniques of the alto flute, bass flute, flute and piccolo. During her career as a free-lance musician in the studios of Los Angeles, Louise has regularly been asked to play these four unique instruments. As well, Short Stories was designed to connect with the style and programmatic content of the film music theme of The Hollywood Flute project.

Siren’s Song for alto flute was inspired by the many great scores for Film Noir movies. The composer felt the hauntingly beautiful sound of the alto flute was a perfect fit for the classic femme fatale character of this genre.

Rather Blue for bass flute was inspired by blues and jazz; two musical idioms commonly found in film music. While the bass flute can be found in jazzy scores by composers like Henry Mancini, it is unusual to find the instrument playing quite so many notes as found in this challenging piece.

While the solo flute is usually not the featured instrument heard during dramatic chase scenes, The Chase was composed to demonstrate that the flute can play with the flair and virtuosity needed to create the tension required for effective ‘chase’ music. Imagine a scene featuring a chase on foot through the narrow streets of a crowded city.

Child’s Play for piccolo was inspired by the qualities of magical imagination and youthful enthusiasm commonly found in music associated with children in film. Louise specifically requested that the movement for piccolo feature the less commonly used melodic aspect of the piccolo as well as the typical virtuosic side of the instrument.

It was a true pleasure to be able to create this recording with my aunt, Louise DiTullio. I grew up hearing Louise, my pianist mother Virginia DiTullio Royer, and my cellist grandfather, Joseph DiTullio rehearsing and performing. These and other family members inspired me to become a musician. It was wonderful to be able to work with Louise, first as a cellist and later as a composer and conductor. This recording is a special part of that collaboration.

It was my honor and pleasure to be able to arrange and conduct the music of a group of great film composers. Finally, I appreciated co-producing this recording with my friend, Dr. Jeannie Pool, another person I have great respect for.

Ronald Royer

Audio Tracks on YouTube:



Mark Payne-Piano; Robert Riseling-Clarinet; David Hayward-Bassoon; Anne Thompson-Flute

Ronald Royer – In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano (7:08)

Mark Payne-Piano, Robert Riseling-Clarinet, David Hayward-Bassoon

Iin 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 piano introduction, a meditative section features a cadenza for clarinet followed by one for bassoon. A more rhythmic and energetic section follows, which is meant to suggest his struggles in life and creativity. After a climactic section ending with a piano solo, a more peaceful section shines through representing the beauty, joy and genius of Chopin’s legacy. Originally written for clarinet, cello and string orchestra in 1999, In Memoriam was rewritten in 2007 for TriofuS. Ronald Royer’s’ friend and colleague, Chris Meyer, created the piano part from the string orchestra parts.

1-3. Divertimento – Paul Carr

4-6. Trio – Madeleine Dring

7-10. Four Panels from My Past – Allen Torok

11. In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin, for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano – Ronald Royer

12. Trio Breve No. 1 – John Burge

The Storyteller’s Bag

“Thoroughly original…thoroughly engaging…wonderful mix of new music and stories for young audiences…my screen-addicted five-year-olds listened with rapture the first time I put on The Storyteller’s Bag and begged for it again the next day.”

– City Parent magazine, 2006