Palm Court Pleasures


Catherine Wilson, Piano
Marie Berard, Violin
Dorothy Lawson, Cello

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Palm Court Pleasures is Ensemble Vivant’s debut recording. Now a classic, this “vastly entertaining CD” (Toronto Star) was originally released on Fanfare Records creating an international sensation. It was immediately picked up by Pro Arte and soon thereafter chosen by the Columbia Record Club to join their selected roster of recordings. Ensemble Vivant burst onto the international concert and recording scene as Trio Vivant. A pioneer among classical piano trios, the group has been internationally applauded in both the classical and jazz worlds for their brilliant interpretations of genre-diverse repertoire ranging from classical to ragtime, to Latin and other jazz stylings. The much-loved Sackville Street Ballad, written by the group’s pianist and artistic director Catherine Wilson, is also included on this important, timeless recording.

  1. Queen of Sheba (G.G. Handel)
  2. Bethena Waltz (S. Joplin)
  3. Liebesfreud (F. Kreisler)
  4. Sackville Street Ballad (C. Wilson)
  5. Ragtime Nightingale (J. Lamb)
  6. Pearl Fisher Aria (G. Bizet)
  7. Hungarian Dance No. 4 (J. Brahms)
  8. Elite Syncopations (S. Joplin)
  9. Waltz in A Flat Opus 69, No. 1, (F. Chopin)
  10. Tango de la Rose (Shreier-Bottero)
  11. Du and Du (J. Strauss)
  12. O Gee, O Joy (G. Gershwin)
  13. Minuet (I. Paderewski)
  14. I’ll See You Again (N. Coward)

“… desert island favourites …”
– Bob Kerr, CBC Radio (re: EV’s CDs Palm Court Pleasures and Palm Court Encores)

“Here is the perfect light chamber music album … a little of everything to suit any taste … a wonderfully talented ensemble that performs with a warmth and flow that betrays an exceptional closeness … truly these players are more than just in-tune with each other … the overall effect is joyous and compelling”
-Music Magazine, Canada (re: EV’s recording Palm Court Pleasures)

“Palm Court Pleasures with Ensemble Vivant is flawless … beyond flawless … it’s miraculous … it’s just perfect!”
– Bob Kerr, CBC Radio

“This vastly entertaining album makes listening awfully easy”
– William Littler, Toronto Star (re: EV’s recording Palm Court Pleasures)

“Ensemble Vivant – elegance and grace! – 5.0 out of 5 stars.

Ensemble Vivant is a well-established group coming out of Toronto. Pianist Catherine Wilson has assembled not only a core trio of musicians but when called for, will expand the group to as many as she feels is needed. The music and concept of Palm Court Pleasures stems from the legendary music performed in the large rooms of many prestigious hotels – especially for dances, socials or Sunday tea. Wilson and her cronies offer an exquisite album that will take the listener on a wonderful journey of delights and bon-bons for piano, violin and cello. The album includes classical works that fit the ensemble and concept perfectly – Liebesfreud by Kreisler is a treat, while dance works from Strauss as well as ragtime from Joplin round out the album. There is something for everyone it seems – Handel, Bizet, Brahms, Chopin, Gershwin and Noel Coward of course offers the parting lines with his classic I’ll See You Again. Palm Court Pleasures was picturesque as much as it was a pleasure to listen to. Thoroughly enjoyable.”
– Review by J. Maxwell Fletcher “Max” (, USA)