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Audio CD, CD, September 1, 2000
Foliage represents the Riverdale Ensemble's premiere recording and it is a winner. The CD contains three works for clarinet, violin and piano - one which is relatively unknown (Hans Gál), a world premiere (the Canadian composer Daniel Foley) and a standard (Aram Khachaturian).
The Gál is a three-movement work that displays his firm grounding in the Classical Germanic tradition of Bach, Mozart and Brahms. The Khachaturian Trio is a staple chamber work from the first half of the twentieth century. The Riverdale Ensemble's interpretation of the work is nothing less than astonishing, a simply stunning performance that is worth the cost of the CD alone. Foley's Hommage à Henri Rousseau is well crafted and displays Foley's superb handling of a number of musical styles, ranging from the Baroque to early, Massenet-influenced Debussy to boogie-woogie.
The performances are all top-notch and the recording is simply amazing both in terms of balance and sonic quality. The programme notes are informative and useful. This CD has something to appeal to everyone: something old and relatively unknown, something new that was commissioned by the Riverdale Ensemble, and a twentieth-century classic. I eagerly look forward to the Riverdale Ensemble's next release. I would strongly recommend this disc. --Edward Jurakowski (CAML Review)
The Riverdale Ensemble features music from the 'other twentieth century', in the Romantic idiom that speaks both to the heart and to the head. It is their quoted intention to bring neglected music to the fore, and pianist Ellen Meyer, violinist Daniel Kushner and clarinettist Stephen Fox constitute a trio of elegant talent who make this CD of mainly unfamiliar work a worthwhile experience. --Gordon Lewin (The Clarinet and Saxophone)
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