P R E S S
“The work begins with flutterings of winds and strings in a musical image of flags and pennants dancing and snapping in a strong breeze while sails fill and belly out. It continues with a picturesque series of musical vignettes based on the folk songs of some of the many cultures Halifax is home to, ending with the irresistible charm of Greek music with its persistent 7-8 time, jolting cheerfully along like a wheel with a flat spot on it. Palmer is a skilled orchestrator with a sharp ear for detail and an unsurpassed knowledge of the band he writes for.”
- Stephen Pederson, on first performance of “Ships and Flags – a 2012 Overture”.
Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Monday, July 23, 2012.
“Just back from a memorable evening in Paul O'Regan Hall, culminating in the premiere of Christopher Palmer's magnificent 'Halifax: December Sixth, 1917' - eloquent, shattering, moving, full of dazzling and original instrumental colours, splendidly performed by the Camerata Singers under Jeff Joudrey and Rhapsody Quintet. Wow. The whole evening was a triumph of the imagination, with Peggy Walt's inventive script knitting everything together with a powerful narrative thread. Quite an experience!”
- John Plant, Halifax composer, commenting on the premiere of “Halifax: December Sixth, 1917”
on Facebook. March 26, 2017.
“The young players [Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra], aged 12 to 24, gave a peak performance. They also unveiled [Symphony Nova Scotia] bassoonist Christopher Palmer’s commissioned work in honour of their 30th anniversary season, called Overture: Juvenescence.
It challenged the players with its masterful setting of flowing lyrical lines against the rhythmic tension of the accompaniment, each element pulling in a different direction but combining to lift the music and give it wings. Brass fanfares and sparkling woodwind writing gave it the colour and sometimes the power of a score by Gustav Holst.”
- Stephen Pederson, on performance of Overture: Juvenescence by the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra.
Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Tuesday May 1, 2007.
“The key lies in the arrangements. Blue Engine (String Quartet) commissioned Christopher Palmer…for the job. The songs, elegant even when sung a cappella or with just piano, soar to new heights with the accompaniment of strings and piano. At the same time, the stunning instrumentation doesn’t obscure LeJeune’s voice, which remains front and centre in the mix. There’s no straining to catch a lyric, and you don’t want to miss a word.”
- Marilyn Smulders review of C.D. “If It Be Your Will…Songs of Leonard Cohen”
performed by Cliff LeJeune with the Blue Engine String Quartet and Paul Simons on piano.
Daily News, Halifax, March 17, 2005.
"The arrangements, written by Symphony Nova Scotia bassoonist Chris Palmer are careful not to get in the way of either Cohen or LeJeune. They are transparent, and the playing, by Blue Engine and Simons is exquisitely expressive. They respond with the artist’s instinct for seizing the moment, letting it all hang out for a note or two or a telling a phrase, then seamlessly settling into the background."
- Stephen Pederson, Arts Reporter, Review of the same C.D.
The Halifax Herald Limited, Saturday March 19, 2005
“[Chris Palmer…came up with an outstanding arrangement of La Tempête. Palmer’s ear for orchestral colour is flawless, his ability to embed the vocal in sound without swamping it unerring, and his imagination for the mood and sub-text of Gallant’s lyrics poetically sensitive.”
- Stephen Pederson review of performance of Lennie Gallant with Symphony Nova Scotia.
Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Saturday, February 14, 2004.