Here are our recordings to date, with set lists, a sample track for each title, and links for purchase. More tunes from these CDs can be heard on the Listen page.
Released in the spring of 2017, this DVD project brings short films both new and old together with music by the band. See the From Iceland to the Moon dedicated page for more information on this DVD project. Available here: http://www.pipistrellemusic.com/ensemble-polaris/from-iceland-to-the-moon/
“Whimsy runs rampant through every note of Nutcracker Nouveau…Yet whatever nonsensical heights are reached by such brainy musical mischief are surpassed by the playing itself.” Toronto Star
Premiered at St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre in December 1892, Tchaikovsky’s music for The Nutcracker received glowing praise, but the ballet production itself was not a roaring success. No one could have predicted that almost seventy-five years later The Nutcracker would become a festive season favorite, a ‘Christmas bonus’ for ballet companies around the world.
In their 2013 release Nutcracker Nouveau, Ensemble Polaris celebrates Tchaikovsky’s popular music with influences ranging from traditional Scandinavian, bluegrass, Roma and Klezmer to Chinese classical and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and juxtaposed with instrumentals and songs from Russian folk tradition. Music to bring you good cheer, at any time of year!
Trepak (P.I. Tchaikovsky, arr. Kirk Elliott):
Set list: Trepak; O’er the Snowy Steppes; Bright Face, Round Face; Waltz of the Flowers; Sugar Plum Fairy; Kazanka; Juniper on the Hill; Danse Arabe/Araber Tantz; Picking Tea/Danse Chinoise; Two Guitars; Danse des Mirlitons; Bandura; Karovushka/Korobushka; Overture; Not the Wind
Buy the CD here: http://www.pipistrellemusic.com/ensemble-polaris/nutcracker-nouveau/ or download here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nutcracker-nouveau/id717415395
Many thanks to these generous private donors who helped to make Nutcracker Nouveau a reality: Anonymous (2), Gary Armstrong, Sandra Anderson, Terry Bryk, Eric Cadesky, Margaret Carroll, Ann Elizabeth Carson, Alistair and Margaret Cunningham, G.B. & Maria Cera, Vittoria, Marie and Matteo Cera, Kirk Dale, Alexandra Edsall, Mary-Katherine Finch, Christine & Ian Fleming, Al Forest, Fred and Ursula Franklin, Ian & Hannah Gay, Harry Lane, Kathleen McMorrow, Christopher Palin, Ruth Pincoe, Ron Searles, Alan Teder and John Wall.
We also acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.
“Just occasionally, something joyously bonkers and genuinely creative enough to reaffirm one’s faith in the music industry all over again comes along, and this month, this disc is The One for me; my latest ‘happy disc.’…Bonkers but brilliant.” Recorder Magazine
Polaris released Uncharted Waters in 2011. Recorded in April 2009 and January 2011, the eighteen tracks of this CD run the gamut from evocative laments to sizzling dance tunes, and include a few new charts by members of the band.
Ninin (Andrea Cera):
Set list: Ninin, Ena Twigg/Halloween Peabody, Get Him, Dry Toes Waltz, Waltz 39.3,
Valley Girl, Pasquale, I Wish in Vain, I Kopanitsa in Vain, The Turnip Tune, Le Manine di Primavera, Solomon Buster, Vals etter Vidar Lande, Steklåt från Särna/Polska, El Domador de Tarengue, Jeg Legges i Min Vugge Nu, Beetroots for Nico, Gånglåt från Klockarberg
Purchase the disc here: http://www.pipistrellemusic.com/ensemble-polaris/uncharted-waters/ or download here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/uncharted-waters/id496585637
‘While Americans seek fame and riches, leave it to their Canadian counterparts to make pure music…The musicianship is outstanding and the Ensemble plays with joy and wit. Even my children like this one.’ Customer review, CDUniverse.com
The band’s third CD, Vikings on Vacation is the first with Marco (guitar) and Katherine (voice and nyckelharpa), is their first studio outing, recorded at Toronto’s Canterbury Music Co. Vikings on Vacation takes us on a wider musical voyage this time, from the melancholy Swedish Klosterjungfrun to a rousing tune by Nino Rota and original music by Kirk Elliott and Deb Sinha. Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their funding assistance!
Klosterjungfrun (trad. Sweden arr. Polaris):
Set list: Dalmarschen, Jungfrun och Näkken, La Rumba, Nanatsu, Klosterjungfrun, Cod’s Anatomy (Stir it all aboot, The Little Black Fox, The Mysterious Murder Of Max Penney, Farewell To Little Seldom, Reel From Doran House), Visa från Venjan, You lovely island,
Polska for Alban Faust, Polska efter Anders Liljofors, Anna och Wilhelm, Polska efter Byss-Calle, Emil goes to market, I wish in vain
Buy the CD here: http://www.pipistrellemusic.com/ensemble-polaris/vikings-on-vacation/ or download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/vikings-on-vacation/id378808195
‘The music is varied and evocative and the arrangements and interpretations are impeccable, by times, haunting and amusing. There is not much that is better than Ensemble Polaris.’ Customer at CDBaby
Not Much is Worse than a Troll is Polaris’ second CD and continues along the Scandinavian path first explored with Midnight Sun, using the wide variety of instruments and arrangements for which the band is remembered. From squeaky toys to palimpsests, duo to full ensemble works, Not Much is Worse Than a Troll will surprise and delight old and new fans alike.
Krákan situr a∂ steini (trad. Iceland, arr.Polaris/A.Melville):
Set list: The Oberlin Polska, Yksi rusu/Kay neitoa kaksi, Krákan situr a∂ steini, The Hulder Girls Go Shoe Shopping, Heiemo og Nøkken, Polska Per Danielson, Skrammelpolska, Mansikka/Grannas bastu, Pennknivsmördaren polska (The Penknife Murderer’s Polska),
Anna burte er/Nøkkendanser/ Gammal och unghalling, Sof∂u unga ástin min, Säckpipslät, Reinländer från Foldal (Dance from Foldal)/Gypsy Reel, Erik’s Potty, Maístjarnan/ Säästöpankki valsi, Arvon mekin ansaitsemme, Bagpipe Polskas, Springlek från gudbrandsdalen/ Engelska från Bohuslan, Hea ja kuri mees
Buy the CD from Pipistrelle Music here: http://www.pipistrellemusic.com/ensemble-polaris/not-much-is-worse-than-a-troll/ or download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/not-much-is-worse-than-a-troll/id378806270
“Ancient songs with extraordinary words, laments and dances are all reworked here for modern ears. The arrangements are absolutely spot on – inventive yet never flashy, the result stimulating yet meditative…a tantalizing, beautiful collection…” Classic CD
On their first recording Midnight Sun Ensemble Polaris is joined by guest vocalists Tiina Orpana and Sarah Granskou. The ‘hard copy’ version of this CD is currently out of print, but you can download it!
Uti vår hage (trad. Sweden, arr. Polaris):
Set list: Mandom, mod och morska män, Läksin minä kesäyönä käymään, Vem kan segla förutan vind, Halb sirp, Polska efter Karl Lindblad, Polska efter Nergards Lasse. Polska efter Mats Wesslen, Brudmarsch F. Näs, Suur tamm, Eg fekk i hug å gå til Siri, Kringollek / Rysk Dans, Krummavísur, Lase kiik kaia, The Lass of Humberside, Tore lill tove, The Skipper o’ Dundee, Miks ei mulle tulnud, Divi divi mes muosenis, Móðir mín Í kví, kví, Dað á að gefa börnum brauð, På gården, Roselil og hendes moder, Minun kultani kaunis on, Greenwin Air, Som stjärnan uppå himmelen så klar, Uti vår hage