Les Voix humaines Duo, The Virtuoso Viol

Les Voix humaines Duo, The Virtuoso Viol

Sunday, October 27, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.

St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church | 4440 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ   Google Map

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About the Program
The Virtuoso Viol

Featuring works by Tobias Hume (1580–1645), Marin Marais (1656–1728), Johann Sebastien Bach (1685–1750), and others, The Virtuoso Viol is a grand European tour of virtuosic repetoire for the viol duo. Spanning nearly two centuries of music, this program takes listeners from 17th-century England, through Louis XIV’s France, and finally to the Rhine and musical world of Bach.

“Napper and Corriveau produce a wonderfully resonant sound, the phrasing keenly articulated. The German poet Goethe once described chamber musicians as ‘having a conversation’ and this is certainly the case with the intimate and intuitive approach taken by the two performers.”—the WholeNote

About Les Voix humaines Duo (Montreal, Canada)

Gamba virtuosi Mélisande Corriveau and Susie Napper have performed together in Les Voix humaines consort of viols for two decades. Celebrated soloists in their own right, this duo builds on decades of viol duo performances by Les Voix humaines’s founding members Susie Napper and Margaret Little.

Mélisande Corriveau, bass viol

Critically acclaimed for her “virtuosic, delicate, and elegant playing,” Mélisande Corriveau performs on viola da gamba, cello, recorder, and is one of the few performers in the world specializing in the pardessus de viole. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of the ensemble L’Harmonie des saisons, whose debut CD release Las Ciudades de Oro (Cities of Gold) was the 2016 winner of the coveted Canadian JUNO Award. Her recent duo release with harpsichordist Eric Milnes, Pardessus de viole, recently won an Opus prize from the Quebec Council of Music, and was named among the 10 best classical discs of the year (2016) by CBC Radio. Mélisande is a core member of ensemble Masques, Les Voix Humaines consort of viols, Bande Montréal Baroque, Sonate 1704, and Les Boréades. Her discography of over 40 includes appearences on the ATMA Classique, Analekta, Harmonia Mundi, Paradizo, Zig-Zag Territories, and Alpha labels.

Susie Napper, bass viol

Cellist, gambist, continuo player par excellence, Susie Napper is known for her colorful, even controversial performances of both solo and chamber repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. Having spent her childhood in an artistic milieu in London, in her late teens she moved to New York to study at the Juilliard School, then to the Paris Conservatoire. San Francisco followed, where, after a foray into contemporary music, she co-founded and directed the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Since then she has spent two decades with a foot on either side of the Atlantic as principal cellist with several groups including Stradivaria in France, Ensemble Caprice, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal and Les Boréades in Montreal, and the Trinity Consort of Portland. Her concert tours have taken her as far afield as China, Japan, New Zealand, India, the Middle East, as well as most European countries. As a member of the very active viol duo Les Voix humaines, she has discovered a new facet of musical expression in the form of musical arranging, thus providing an endlessly fascinating new repertoire for two viols. Susie Napper teaches at McGill University, the University of Montreal and the Royal Consevatory, Copenhagen and founded the Festival international Montréal Baroque which is presented in Montreal in June since 2001. She was awarded the Prix Opus 2002 for Personality of the year by the Conseil québécois de la musique. In 2011, she was named Woman of Merit for the Arts, Montreal.

Her recordings, which include most of the known repertoire for two viols, can be heard on Harmonia Mundi, EMI, Erato, ADDA, CBC Records, Naxos, and most notably on the ATMA label. But her true vocation is not on the concert stage or the recording studio. The kitchen is the center of her domain, where she creates dishes both colorful and controversial for her own pleasure as well as that of her guests.