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

Vivienne Spiteri / Bengt Hambraeus, Louis Andriessen, Hope Lee, Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux, Ton de Leeuw, Tim Brady

… 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

CD (SNE 542)

On the web

Some recommended items
In the press


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…


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…


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.