ATMA Classique

ATMA Classique

April 27, 2009 09:00 ET

Old Instruments Granted a New Voice as First Professional Recording Featuring Restored 17th Century Hart House Viols Released on ATMA Classique

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) -

Editors note: Two photos are included with this press release on Marketwire's website.

ATMA Classique is thrilled to announce the commerical release tomorrow of a milestone CD featuring viol ensemble Les Voix humaines in the first professional recording made featuring the historic Hart House viols. The music of English composer Henry Purcell bring these 17th-century instruments to life for contemporary listeners. For more information and a link to a video about the viols, visit

The collection of six 17th and 18th century instruments known as The Hart House Viols has been at the University of Toronto since the 1930s. Purchased by the Massey Foundation in 1929, Vincent Massey requested that the viols be housed at U of T's Hart House, where they were on display but not played on a regular basis.

In 2008, viol player Susie Napper and Les Voix humaines organized the restoration of the instruments to playing condition for this recording project. In addition to their historic and cultural importance, the instruments are objects of great beauty, with intricately carved heads on each of the scrolls.

Les Voix humaines (Margaret Little and Susie Napper) have been thrilling audiences worldwide with performances of music for viols since 1985. The ensemble varies from viola da gamba duo to viol consort to mixed-instrument ensemble. Les Voix humaines twenty-plus ATMA recordings have received world-wide critical acclaim including Choc du Monde de la Musique, Repertoire-Classica 10, Goldberg 5, and Classics Today 10/10.

Founded in 1995, ATMA Classique has witnessed increasing international success and is recognized world-wide for both the excellence of its sound recording and the exceptional quality of its artists. "Dynamic and inventive" (Repertoire), the label's roster includes over 250 titles ranging from medieval to contemporary music. ATMA is distributed in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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