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New Music / Musique actuelle: New Music for Harpsichord from Canada and The Netherlands

Vivienne Spiteri

… our most active interpreter of new music for harpsichord… The Toronto Star, Canada

… une claveciniste à découvrir… Le Devoir, Québec

Vivienne Spiteri, harpsichord

  • Canada Council for the Arts

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In the press

Review

William Littler, The Toronto Star, October 1, 1990

Vivienne Spiteri has become our most active interpreter of new music for harpsichord, a distinction reinforced by the application of her double manual Hubbard to the four (Canadian) works on this album.

… our most active interpreter of new music for harpsichord…

Critique

Carol Bergeron, Le Devoir, October 1, 1988

… une claveciniste à découvrir, d’autant qu’elle a le courage de s’attaquer à un répertoire exclusivement contemporain, Vivienne Spiteri laisse un excellent souvenir de son premier disque.

… une claveciniste à découvrir…

Review

Robert Everett-Green, The Globe and Mail, June 9, 1988

Several decades after its revival as a concert instrument, the harpsichord is well into its second renaissance. This new album by the Canadian harpsichordist Vivienne Spiteri features six works written for the instrument since the mid-seventies.

Included are pieces by Louis Andriessen and Bengt Hambraeus and by lesser-known Dutch and Canadian composers. Spiteri has been touring with this repertoire for some time, and her recorded efforts have a mature, authoritative sound.

Several of the pieces display curiosity about the harpsichord’s distinctive sonority, and a few make feints in the direction of its brave baroque past. HambraeusCapriccio I, for example, is sprinkled with souvenirs of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century idioms, the easy co-existence of which suggests a notion of the tradition that is like a view through several translucent panes of glass.

Hope Lee’s Melboac rigorously parses the permutations of her virile sonograms, while Andriessen’s Overture to Orpheus sets up a languid canon of voices so close as to seem each other’s shadow. Tim Brady’s Reaching Past and Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux’s Miroirs use electronics to play with some of the harpsichord’s steelier sonorities, while Ton de Leeuw’s acoustic, Mo-Do has a contemplative Oriental cast.

In all, this is a fine release from Société nouvelle d’enregistrement, and a brilliant debut album for Spiteri.

… a brilliant debut album for Spiteri.