On 24 November, the viola da gamba quartet Les Voix Humaines (Canada) for the first time will perform in Riga. The quartet has acquired world fame thanks to the artistic activities of the outstanding interpreter of Baroque and Renaissance music Susie Nepper. The ensemble has recorded about 90 discs and travelled all over the world. Their musical performance has been compared by the critics to a skill of trapeze artists. Les Voix Humaines will present to the audience J. S. Bach’s masterpiece „The Art of Fugue”.
Les Voix Humaines was creatded in 1985 by two gambists Susie Napper and Margaret Little. Their musical complicity has been compared to the skill of two trapeze artists or the telepathic communion of a pair of jazz saxophonists! Both artists are renowned for their spectacular arrangements of a wide variety of music for two viols and have become a world reference for the music of Sainte-Colombe. In 2007 they have received the Opus Award for PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR from the Conseil québécois de la musique.
Les Voix humaines has recorded some forty discs which have received critical acclaim and prestigious awards (DIAPASON D'OR, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Repertoire-Classica 10, Goldperg 5, Classics Today 10/10, Prix Opus, etc). They include the complete Poeticall Musicke of Tobias Hume, The 4 Seasons of Christopher Simpson, the complete Le Nymphe di Rheno of Johannes Schenck, several discs with soprano Suzie LeBlanc and countertenor Daniel Taylor, a Telemann disc with renowned Belgian flutist Barthold Kuijken, a Marais disc with world famous gambist Wieland Kuijken and Purcell's complete Fantasias for viols.
The duo has toured in North America, Mexico, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, China and Japan, performing is prestigious festivals such as Early Music Vancouver, the Festival Internacional Cervantino, the Brighton International Music Festival, the Festival Oude Musiek, Holland, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Summer Festivities of Early Music in Prague and the Israel Festival.
Les Voix humaines has invited prestigious artists to join them in concert and recordings, such as Wieland and Barthold Kuijken, Charles Daniels, Suzie LeBlanc, Daniel Taylor, Rinat Shaham, Matthew White, Eric Milnes, Skip Sempe and Stephen Stubbs. The duo is regularly joined by some of Montreal's finest young viol players to form the Voix Humaines Consort specializing in the vast 17th-century repertoire for viol consort. Their recent recording of J. S. Bach's Art of the Fugue will be available in stores in May 2013!
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Susie Napper. Gambist, baroque cellist and left-wing continuo player par excellence, Susie Napper is known for her creative, colourful and controversial performances of both solo and chamber music. Having spent her childhood in a London artistic milieu, followed by a nomadic early adulthood performing in North America and Europe, life led her to Montreal from where she now tours worldwide with Ensemble Caprice, Les Voix humaines and Les Voix humaines Consort. As founder and artistic director of the Montreal Baroque Festival, Susie Napper won the 2002 Prix Opus for Personality of the Year and was a 2011 YWCA Woman of the Year for Arts. She teaches at McGill University, Université de Montréal and the Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen.
Margaret Little. Born and raised in Montreal in a musical family, Margaret Little played violin, piano, recorder and guitar as a child. When she was eleven years old she discovered the viola da gamba and fell in love instantly! Cofounder of Les Voix humaines, Margaret also gives duo recitals with lutenist Sylvain Bergeron. She has toured extensively on the five continents as a viol and baroque viola player with various ensembles. She loves travelling and meeting other musicians in different parts of the planet. She has recorded over 90 CDs amongst which some 40 with Les Voix humaines and two solo CDs, most of which for the ATMA label. Margaret Little teaches the viola da gamba at Université de Montréal. She also has a private teaching studio.
Mélisande Corriveau is as distinguished a performer on the baroque cello and recorder as on the viola da gamba. In 2014 she received a Doctoral Degree with honors from The University of Montréal in performance on the pardessus de viole, becoming one of the few performers in the world specializing on the instrument. Her expertise is sought on both sides of the Atlantic, where she plays with numerous ensembles, including Les Voix Humaines viol consort, La Bande Montreal Baroque, New York Baroque, Capriccio Stravagante, and Ensemble Masques. She is artistic director of L’Harmonie des Saisons, which she founded in Quebec in 2010. Mélisande has been a featured performer at numerous prestigious festivals world-wide, and recent tours take her to New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Bolivia, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain, Austria, Poland and Germany. Her discography numbers over forty recordings for ATMA Classique, Analekta, Harmonia Mundi, Paradizo, Zig-Zag Territories and Alpha.
Felix Deak. As well as being a founding member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble, cellist and viola da gambist Felix Deak showcases his career as a freelance musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Toronto's Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Montreal based Les Voix Humaines. Felix instructs orchestral classes and private students in and around Toronto. He can be heard on CBC Radio Two in performances, and has made recordings for various labels at home and abroad.