ELLES, the new album by the violist Marina Thibeault and pianist Marie-Eve Scarfone features repertoire for viola and piano and viola solo by exceptional 19th and 21st century women composers: Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel, Nadia Boulanger, Rebecca Clarke, Lilian Fuchs, and Anna Pidgorna. Marina Thibeault holds numerous honors and distinctions, including prizes from the Pere-Lindsay Foundation, Revelation Radio-Canada, CBC’s “30 hot classical musicians under 30,” and the Sylva Gelber Foundation. A graduate from the Manhattan School of Music and the Universite de Montreal, Marie-Eve Scarfone has a distinguished career as a pianist both in Canada and abroad. She has performed across North America as well as in Europe, Asia, and the MiddleRead more East. Recently appointed Head Coach at the Opera de Montreal’s Atelier Lyrique, Marie-Eve Scarfone has a great love for vocal art. She also works as a vocal coach at McGill University, as a repietiteur at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and as an official pianist at the Montreal International Musical Competition.
Thibeault plays with a pure tone and a smooth melodic line, ably supported by Scarfone; there are times, perhaps, when a stronger attack could be used. That, however, is exactly what we get in the two unaccompanied works that follow. Fuchs wrote little in a long life (both she and Clarke made it into their 90s) but the three-movement Sonate is a simply terrific work that brings the best playing on the CD from Thibeault.