In the 1920s Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel,Georges Auric and Guy Ropartz among others signed a petition to mainstream the viola family instruments (including the viola d\'amore) into the symphonic orchestra. To bring three pieces for viola d\'amore and harp into a CD such as this, which is devoted to French music for alto and harp, share that same spirit of openness that characterized some of the great composers of the past. Milandre, who died in Paris in 1782, was one of the first 18th century composers who in France became interested in the viola d\'amore. A virtuoso player of this instrument, he was a musician in Louis XV\'s court and was the Queen\'s teacher - she is said to have played the viola d\'amore with particular talent. On the year of his death he published an Easy Method for the viola d\'amore which remains one of the rare pieces in the genre.The suite that is performed here illustrates marvelously the type of music that was played in Versailles at the time. It starts with a Polonaise, followed by an Andante, based on two popular melodies, and finishes with an allegro full of brio. Louis Joseph Ferdinand Herold (1791-1833) was trained as a pianist and composer at the Paris Conservatoire, thanks to which he obtained the First Grand Prize of Rome. He then went to Rome and Villa Medecis and later to Naples, Venice and Vienna before he returned to France via Munich and Switzerland. He soon was appointed as a harpsichord player at the Théâtre Italien where he reached his first successes with his comic operas. He later became Choir Director at that theater and then Deputy Director at the Paris Opera. He died of tuberculosis when he was 42 years old, leaving behind 3 operas and 27 comic operas, some of which brought him great success, as well as ballets, tunes, hymns, symphonies, overtures, and concertos for piano and orchestra. The four sonatas for harp with alto in two movements, which are recorded here, were particularly well-written in classical and virtuoso style. Born in Montmédy (Meuse) in 1789, Nicolas Bochsa was an early-gifted musical genius who died in Sidney (Australia) in 1856. A great harp performer and prolific composer for this instrument, as well as of comic operas, he was also a professor, orchestra conductor, editor, theater director and impresario. He enjoyed great success in his time particularly as a harp composer and player. He spent most of his life outside France, in Europe as well as in America, and frequently appeared in the social chronicles due as much to his extravagances as to it's conflicts with the justice. He remains well known among harp performers since his pieces are often performed in harp competitions and performances. His Nocturne for Harp and Alto is a brilliant pierce which was inspired in well-known Mozartian themes. Born in Paris in 1855, Chausson grew up in a family of means which was also fond of culture; yet, he did not focus on music until he finished his law studies. It is then when he attended the Paris Conservatoire under Massenet, was influenced by Frank and went to Germany to listen Wagner\'s music. Mallarmé, Debussy, Albéniz and Cortot were in his circle of friends in Paris. He died prematurely, following a bicycle accident; nonetheless, his production reflects well the evolution of his style, which took a distance from the early influences that he received, becoming better structured and more dramatic (Poem of Love and the Sea) and later was full of melancholy. (Poem no. 25 for violin and orchestra). His music, criticized at first as fuzzy, became more classical after 1890 when he turned towards Italian sources as well as towards Couperin and Rameau. The first piece in this recording, originally written for alto or cello, has been adapted by it's interpreters here for alto and harp; it's writing is rather romantic and particularly melodic. The second piece, a melody entitled \'Hébé\', is a Greek song in Anatolia\'s Phrygian mode and has been adapted here for viola d\'amore and harp. Marie Juliette Olga Boulanger, known as Lili Boulanger, came from a family of well-known musicians and was very involved in Paris\' musical world. She began her training as a musician early,studying harp with M. Tournier and A. Hasselmans, as well as violin, cello and piano. She turned towards composition later on and worked with G. Caussade and P. Vidal to that effect. Admitted to the Paris Conservatoire in 1912, she was the first woman who received the prestigious Rome Prize. Of fragile health, she died prematurely in 1918. Her compositions are in line with those of the type of French music which is so well represented by Fauré; yet, they also show reminiscences of Debussy\'s impressionism. Her Nocturne, arranged here for alto and harp by it's interpreters, is a melancholic piece that recalls somewhat Ravel\'s Habanera. Early-gifted, Jean-Michel Damase was just 9 years-old when he wrote the score for three poems that Colette had written for him. He followed his musical studies under Alfred Cortot\'s personal direction and received by unanimity, and when he was 15 years old, the first Piano Prize from Paris\' Conservatoire National Supérieur. Four years later he received the first Composition Prize from the same conservatoire and soon after the first Grand Prize of Rome - just when he was 19 years old! He is invited often to interpret his own works, as well as to give master classes, in Europe, the United States and Japan. His catalogue includes lyric pieces such as \'Jean Anouhil\'s Dove\', which was premiered at Bordeaux\'s Festival and \'Madame de Louise Vilmorin\', which was written for Montecarlo\'s Opera. It also includes ballets, such as \'La Croqueuse de diamants\', for Roland Petit, and \'Piège de lumière\', which was commissioned by the Marquis de Cuevas\' grand ballet. In addition, it contains symphonic works and pieces for various types of chamber music formations. The son of Micheline Khan, Jean Michel Damase also wrote several pieces for the harp. One of them, the Concerto for basson, harp and strings (2006), was dedicated to Rachel Talitman and Luc Loubry. He has received the Grand Musical Prize of the Society of Drama Authors and Composers (SACD) in recongition of his entire oeuvre, as well as the Grand Prize of the City of Paris. The piece \'Hallucinations\', which was written for Rachel Talitman and Pierre-Henry Xuereb, is an oniric piece that navigates between dreams and hallucianations, and has been written in an impressionistic and fantastical style. Pascal Proust studied music at Orléans\' Conservatoire, before he entered Paris\' Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in 1974. He obtained three First Prizes at Georges Barboteu\'s class and Chamber Music at Maurice Bourgue\'s class. In 1985 he received the Third Prize at Toulon\'s International Competition. He has performed several hundreds of concerts in Europe, the United States, Japan, Polynesia, etc. And recorded about twenty records and TV performances. He appears regularly with several Paris\' orchestras such as the Opera Orchestra, France\'s National Orchestra and the Orchestral Ensemble of Paris. \'The Carp and the Cockchafer\', performed here with viola d\'amore and harp, is not strictly inspired by a fable but, rather, it shows in the guise of a fable the sorrowful story of the cockchafer, which becomes soft food for the carp.