“…I have nothing but admiration to express for the playing of these three musicians. British-American clarinettist Jean Johnson is nothing short of phenomenal.
The Francaix and Smit works, in particular, put the clarinet and Johnson to the ultimate test with some of the most technically torturous passages for the instrument I’ve ever heard; yet Johnson’s technique and poise never falter or fail her. She plays with a tone of the most exquisite liquid, limpid, and legato beauty. Dutch-born violinist Roeland Jagers is a founding member of the Rubens Quartet, and he appears regularly as soloist and chamber music player at concerthalls and music festivals in Europe and the U.S. The creamy richness of his tone is a perfect match for Johnson’s clarinet. Prize-winning, Crimean-born pianist Ilona Timchenko has made a name for herself on the international stage with appearances as a soloist with major orchestras, a recitalist and an accompanist to a number of well-known instrumentalists and vocalists. Her keen musical intelligence and contribution to this program are inestimable. Johnson, Jagers and Timchenko are to be commended, not just for their outstanding artistry, but for their imagination – and daring too – in putting together an album that juxtaposes the tried and true – Mozart and Schumann – with modern works by Francaix and Smit that challenge the listener as well. This deserves the strongest of recommendations. Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine, USA