It wasn’t until 1894, 99 years after the violin and cello were allowed into the Paris Conservatory, that the institution’s great doors were opened for the viola. In the years that followed, a spate of music for viola was written in France. On this recording, internationally renowned Canadian violist Steven Dann and pianist James Parker introduce listeners to little known music, including two works that have never before been recorded.
This new ATMA recording allows us to get reacquainted with three composers and contemporaries of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel who have been unfairly forgotten. Two of these, Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) and Pierre de Bréville (1861-1949), were students of César Franck. The third, Charles Koechlin (1867-1950), was a pupil of Gabriel Fauré.
Since 1990 Steven Dann has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington D.C. He is currently violist of both the Zebra Trio and Toronto’s twice Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble. Mr. Dann teaches viola and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music and is the Coordinator of the chamber music program at the Domaine Forget in Quebec. Mr. Dann plays a Joseph Gagliano viola, circa 1780.
A consummate professional, James Parker is recognized as a soloist and chamber musician. He is the pianist for one of Canada’s foremost ensembles, the Gryphon Trio. Parker’s style has earned him The Globe and Mail’s praise as “One of the most searching musical intellects and 10 of the nimblest fingers in the business.” He is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance on the music faculty at the University of Toronto.