Rebecca Clarke

Works for viola 

Le choix de France Musique

Aujourd’hui, alors que fleurissent les enregistrements visant à redécouvrir les trésors enfouis des siècles passés, difficile d’ignorer l’œuvre de Rebecca Clarke. A la fois compositrice et interprète, Clarke est l’une des figures les plus éclectiques du XXe siècle. Sa musique, à la croisée d’esthétiques variées, crée un langage personnel, résolument moderne.


Pièces pour alto et piano

  • Sonate pour alto et piano
  • Morpheus
  • Passacaglia on an old English Tune
  • Chinese Puzzle, extrait de Shorter pieces


  • Dumka, duo concertant pour violon, alto et piano

Duos pour alto et violoncelle

  • Irish Melody (Emer’s Farewell to Cucullain) “Londonderry Air”
    premier enregistrement mondial
  • Lullaby and Grotesque


Vinciane Béranger, alto
Dana Ciocarlie, piano
Hélène Collerette, violin
David Louwerse, cello

Distribution Integral

Buy the album on FNAC

Rebecca Clarke - Works for viola


A World Premiere and a new standard

Vinciane Béranger’s survey of the principal pieces featuring viola stets a new standard: based on a deep study of Clarke’s manuscripts, it boasts gorgeous, impassioned performances, including a definitive take on Dumka, the only recorded performance to notice (and observe) Clarke’s scribbled-in timing for Chinese Puzzle, the world-première recording of Irish Melody, with a brilliantly detailed sound.

Christopher Johnson

Le club de Mediapart

Vinciane Béranger’s magnificent timbre

This remarkable artist introduces us to works that the British composer Rebecca Clarke wrote for the viola. The album is released by Aparté, a high-quality label. What more could anyone ask? That you keep exploring this realm. For the sake of pleasure!

Frédérick Casadesus


The Nefertiti of the viola

A dreamy aspect is evident and Vinciane Béranger’s beautiful interpretation succeeds in producing this dreaminess. Rebecca Clarke’s music is a rainbow of different ever-vibrant colors which Vinciane Béranger and her fellow players overlap with pleasure and talent. When listening to this album, you may well wonder who is the Nefertiti of the viola: Rebecca Clarke or Vinciane Béranger. Possibly both of them in the end.

Laurent Pfaadt


When Rebecca Clarke set her sights on the alto-clef instrument, she dressed it up with hurdy-gurdy vibes (the Irish melodies that run through the incredible Impetuoso, ennobled by Vinciane Béranger’s bass) and cello tones. Not only is the viola endowed with astonishing dynamic projection through the quality of her writing, but a thunderous piano also carries and clothes it like an orchestra without ever swallowing it up.

The work is simply brilliant. Rediscovered by the new generation of violists on either side of the Atlantic, Vinciane Béranger injects it with a dramatic tension that reminds of the work’s creation in the wake of the final year of the Great War.

The other hero of this beautiful monographic album remains the opulent piano of Dana Ciocarlie.

Jean-Charles Hoffelé

La libre Belgique

The composer placed the viola at the heart of her work, conferring it with a full load of color and expressiveness. This is what French violist Vinciane Béranger and her partners reveal here with panache and finesse. Opening with the admirable Sonata for Viola and Pano (1919), the recording takes the listener on a whimsical voyage through genres and styles, giving prominence to popular tunes, handled with an impressionist-like distance, from the moving Irish Melody to the mischievous pentatonic Chinese Puzzle.

Martine D. Mergeay

Violist Vinciane Béranger, the initiator of the project, following the trail of her distant predecessor, makes these marvelous pieces her own through her fervent and flawless interpretation. She has surrounded herself with excellent partners, pianist Dana Ciocarlie, violinist Hélène Collerette and cellist David Louwerse.

Jean-Pierre Robert

Musique classique & Co

Vinciane Béranger displays all the qualities necessary for these demanding pieces, well supported by the three other instrumentalists. An exciting program.

Thierry Vagne

Froggy’s delight

There is conviction and splendid color in the interpretation by the four musicians who pay rightful homage to her.

Jérôme Gillet

All Music

Béranger is confident and lively in the Viola Sonata, and not only violists but also anyone else looking for a way into Clarke’s music might check this release out.

James Manheim

The Rehearsal Studio

Béranger’s album provides a more comprehensive account of Clarke’s achievements as a composer than has been previously available.

Stephen Smoliar

Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

Rebecca Clarke is one of the most talented composers of the 20th century.

Today little-known, her music, largely composed between the 1910s and 1930s, stands out for its great originality, and extremely fertile inspiration. Also a violist, Rebecca Clarke was one of England’s first female professional musicians. She began her career in English orchestras before gaining acclaim in the United States on solo and chamber-music tours. Her works are predominantly devoted to the viola. At times reminding of Debussy and his pentatonic colors, at times British modal inspiration or neoclassical accents, they simultaneously blend folk influences, harmonic and rhythmic daring, clarity of timbre, all swathed in a lush palette of colors.

Vinciane Béranger assembles, in this project, her best-known pieces as well as a selection of highly vivacious miniatures which namely include an inaugural recording of a recently rediscovered piece. Dedicated exclusively to the composer, this portrait album offers a means to grasp the spirit of Clarke’s work. We can thus hear her first success, Morpheus, published using a male pseudonym and whose generous textures sometimes veer towards sensuality, as well as her Viola Sonata, which captured much attention at the composition competition sponsored by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge in 1919. The sonata’s “paternity” is therefore questioned by those critics unable to believe it was written by a woman. This recording seeks to contribute to place it, as well as the rest of her production, back in the light that it deserves.


Rebecca Clarke