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Voix Humaines, Les

Langue disponible : anglais
The Canadian group Les Voix Humaines in its basic form consists of two viola da gamba players, Susie Napper and Margaret Little. The duo has expanded at times to a larger group, Les Voix Humaines Ensemble; both formations have specialized in music of the French Baroque. Napper and Little joined forces in Montreal in 1985 to form Les Voix Humaines. The name is taken from that of a work by composer Marin Marais, whose music is often heard in concerts by the duo. The two musicians have also been active in other Canadian early music groups, including Le Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal and Les Boréades de Montréal on Napper's part, and Rebel, Four Nations, and Trinity Consort on Little's. The duo quickly gained popularity, touring in Europe, the U.S., Australia, and Israel in addition to Canada, and their popularity was only boosted by the appearance of the 1991 film Tous les matins du monde: the film dealt with the life of Marais' teacher, Jean de Sainte-Colombe, whose music fell squarely within the duo's repertory. Les Voix Humaines has performed with a variety of guest vocalists and instrumentalists in concert, including soprano Suzie LeBlanc, countertenor Daniel Taylor, and theorbist Sylvain Bergeron. The duo has also expanded to the larger Les Voix Humaines Ensemble, enabling them to perform viol consort music by the likes of Purcell and Dowland; its repertory also extends forward to Bach and other composers of the High Baroque. Les Voix Humaines has accumulated a large catalog of recordings, beginning with Le Constant et l'infidèle in 1995 on ATMA Classique. Many of their recordings have been made for that Canadian label, including 2019's Le Monde de Sainte-Colombe; that album consisted of selections from the complete set of Sainte-Colombe's duos that Les Voix Humaines recorded in the middle of the 2000s decade. Napper has taught at McGill University, and Little at the University of Montreal.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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