The making of this recording was driven by many interesting factors. Composer Srul Irving Glick (1934-2002), had introduced himself to me at a concert in Toronto in 1997, and he expressed that he was “very taken by my beautiful playing and that of my group. This is a wonderful ensemble of world-class artists”, he said, “and the interesting diverse repertoire is unique and very inspiring.” He was also intrigued by our core instrumentation of piano, violin, viola, cello and bass. That fortuitous encounter lead to conversations about him composing The Old Toronto Klezmer Suite for the quintet, and my commission of this work was on a grant from Isaac Eisenbaum.
The delightful inclusion of Felix Mendelssohn’s glorious Sextet in D Major, Op. 110, was at the suggestion and urging of world-renowned bassist Joel Quarrington. I was thrilled to discover Max Bruch’s gorgeous Trio in c minor, Op. 5, which is one of those great works in the piano chamber music literature that deserves much wider recognition.
One of my quests has always been to research and introduce to audiences newly found gems that have for whatever reason become somewhat obscure.
The actual making of this recording occurred on the heels of my having endured a long, painful injury, which had precluded me playing for a full year. The pressures for this recording to be made at that time, despite my having had virtually no time to get back into pianistic shape and to learn the music, was a significant challenge. Thankfully the musical results belie the challenges faced.
Sextet for Piano and Strings in D Major, Op. 110: Felix Mendelssohn
piano, violin, viola, viola*, cello, bass
- Allegro Vivace
- Minuetto and Trio
- Allegro Vivace
The Old Toronto Klezmer Suite, Quintet for Piano and Strings: Srul Irving Glick
piano, violin, viola, cello, bass
- Kensington Market
- The Roselawn Cemetery
- The United Baker’s Dairy Restaurant
- The Rabbi’s Wedding at the Palmerston Shul
Trio for Piano, Violin* and Cello* in c minor, Op. 5: Max Bruch
- Andante Molto Cantabile – Allegro Assai
Catherine Wilson, Piano/Artistic Director
Marie Bérard, violin
Mark Skazinetsky, violin*
Steven Dann, viola
Max Mandel*, viola
David Hetherington, cello
Jack Mendelson*, cello
Joel Quarrington, bass
This big piano chamber repertoire is beautifully and masterfully performed…insightful interpretations… Catherine Wilson’s playing seems to inhabit the soul of each composer whose work she performs.
I couldn’t be more moved. Ensemble Vivant’s performance of The Old Toronto Klezmer Suite is rich with colour, imagination and deep soulful playing that reveals a profound understanding of this music. I was brought to tears by the tenderness and depth of pianist Catherine Wilson’s playing, and it is a joy to hear Catherine paired with the incomparable Joel Quarrington on double bass, and violinist supreme, Marie Bérard. The entire quintet is outstanding – this is a world-class ensemble in every way.
composer of The Old Toronto Klezmer Suite
…Thanks again for a great performance and wonderful program…molti bravi to Ensemble Vivant… please have Ensemble Vivant return very soon!
de Blasiis CMS at the Hyde
Led by a remarkable pianist, Catherine Wilson, Ensemble Vivant boasts a collection of musicians whose abilities and qualifications are second to none… a diversity of beautifully played music and sound (with vibes… Don Thompson, O.C.) from Bach to Piazzolla to Widor… wonderful interpretations… highlight of the Kelowna Community Concert Association series. I had the pleasure of spending time with the group after the concert and they are a fun, humble and inspiring group of musicians… such tremendous mutual talent and respect within the ensemble… Merci Ensemble Vivant!
musician, composer for B.C. Arts