Voicing: SATB a cappella
Text: Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)
Published by: Cypress Choral Music CP1275, (2014)
Retail: Sheet Music Plus (you can view the score and listen here); Long and McQuade
A work commissioned by Chorale Saint-Jean, Dr. Laurier Fagnan, director, and first performed in Edmonton by the choir, and on tour in France. This work is a challenging fin de siècle setting of Apollinaire's iconic poem about lost love at the Mirabeau bridge in Paris and quite unlike other versions.
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine
Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure
Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l'onde si lasse
L'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
L'amour s'en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l'Espérance est violente
Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Guillaume Appolinaire (1880 - 1918)
from Les Alcools, 1912
Voicing: Soprano Solo, SATB and piano; Narrator; Dancers; Mixed media
Text and Melodies by: France Levasseur-Ouimet (text in French)
Arranged by: Allan Bevan
Published by: L'Alliance des Chorales du Quebec, distributed by Editions Gam, Montreal
Enjoy a lovely montage of a recent performance of France Levasseur-Ouimet's Canadian masterpiece, Elles s'appelaient Marie. This is an extended work (duration 50') taking as its subject the trials and tribulations of the work's heroine Marie, (soprano solo) a Quebec-born woman who homesteads in the early years of the province of Alberta. The performance comes from Gatineau, QC and features their live sound track of the work's final movement Je te Salue, Marie. Elles s'appelaient Marie was commissioned by Chorale Saint-Jean, Dr. Laurier Fagnan, director, in 2006 and first performed by them in Edmonton the following year. The work was featured at Choralies 2012 (the world-wide francophone choral congress). The YouTube excerpt below is taken from an April, 2015 performance in the L'Eglise St.-Francois-de-Sales, Gatineau, QC. The Choeur classique de l'Ouataouais, Tiphanie Legrand, conductor, and the Chorale de l'Ecole secondaire publique De La Salle, Robert Filion, conductor, combine forces in this production. The complete work is available from Editions Gam in Montreal, as are four of the individual movements which are available separately.
Profitez d'une belle montage d'une performance récente du chef-d'œuvre canadienne de France Levasseur-Ouimet, Elles s'appelaient Marie. Ceci est un travail prolongé sur les épreuves et les tribulations de Marie, (soprano solo) une femme d'origine québécoise qui Propriétés dans les premières années de la province de l'Alberta. Elles s'appelaient a été commandé par la Chorale Saint-Jean, Laurier Fagnan, directeur, en 2006.
The Lost Lagoon, a recent work on a poem by Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson has been published by classica Music Publishers. The Lost Lagoon is scored for SATB and piano and was the winner of the 2011 Vancouver 125 Composition Competition sponsored by Jubilate Vocal Ensemble. Pauline Johnson, the famous Mohawk poet lived the last four years of her life in Vancouver, and she was often seen paddling her canoe in the Lost Lagoon which was located within the confines of Stanley Park. Although the lagoon is now a freshwater lake, Johnson was buried in the park, and there is a monument to her memory there.
View the score at classica Music Publishers
Title: Que Reste-t'Il?
Voicing: SA and piano
Text/Melody: France Levasseur-Ouimet
Arrangement: Allan Bevan
Published by: classica Music Publishers - C 040 EVM
Retail: Long and McQuade
Que Reste-t'il? (What Remains?) was commissioned by Artemis, Choeur de Femmes, of Montreal. The choir won a silent auction sponsored by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities at Podium 2012, and Que Reste-t-il? became the prize! The choir, under the direction of Danielle Maisonneuve, sung the work for the first time in May 2014, and the piece was published shortly thereafter. classica Music Publishers has a lovely description of this work on their website, and you can view some of the score there as well.
Allan Bevan and France Levasseur-Ouimet have collaborated on a regular basis for over ten years. Dr. Levasseur-Ouimet is a gifted francophone songwriter who resides in Edmonton.
View the score at classica Music Publishers
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
My No Mortal Business was a co-commission of Chorus Niagara, The Richard Eaton Singers, and the Vancouver Bach Choir. It was first performed by Geraint Wyn-Davies, actor, Johanne Ansell, soprano, Chorus Niagara, the Toronto Orpheus Choir, and the Talisker Players, conducted by Robert Cooper in St. Catharines, ON, and Toronto in 2012.
The Richard Eaton Singers, Timothy Anderson, actor, Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff, conductor, The Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, AB, Sunday, March 13, 2016 (western Canadian premiere; see poster below for further details)
Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Geraint Wyn-Davies, actor; Maeve Palmer, soprano; Robert Cooper, C.M., conductor, Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, Toronto, Saturday, April 23, 2016 (this performance will take place on the day Shakespeare died in 1616)
No Mortal Business (title from a line in The Tempest) is a large-scale choral/orchestral work with text by Shakespeare, and although it wasn't originally intended as an anniversary work it strikes me as something that would be very suitable for any 2016 concert program wishing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of the bard.
No Mortal Business features an important part for an actor who is known in the score as "the prologue". In Shakespeare's time the prologue gave short speeches providing necessary historical background or plot advancement. The part of "Chorus" in Shakespeare's Henry V is the bard's best example, and I admit to being influenced by Derek Jacobi's wonderful portrayal in Kenneth Branagh's film of this play. The prologue in No Mortal Business speaks only the words of the bard but his lines are extracted from many of his plays and sonnets and reassembled in a way that provides a possible vision of the actor himself in his final years. What emerged in this lengthy process of research and (respectful) re-creation was a vision of a mighty talent who was plagued by self-doubt, frustrated by the stress of life as a struggling artist and consumed by the thought of his impending death. In No Mortal Business, Shakespeare's words become haunting 'soliloquies' appearing between the choral numbers and also over and above the music that I have composed. The role of the prologue in No Mortal Business is challenging, as it requires an actor who is capable of portraying a wide range of emotion, is familiar with the Elizabethan stage, and has enough musical background to stay in sync with chorus and orchestra.
The part for the soprano soloist is dramatic in nature too - she portrays the Angel of Death who sings alternatively comforting and disquieting words that resonate deeply in the soul of the prologue and stir reaction from the actor, the chorus, and the chamber orchestra.
No Mortal Business is in five 'Acts' and is thirty-five minutes of intense, non-stop musico-dramatic action. It contains substantial choruses intended for a large mixed-voice ensemble, most of whose text comes from Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest (e.g. new settings of Full Fathom Five, The Cloud-Capp'd Towers, and Where the Bee Sucks) but there is also snippets of ancient plainchant (In Paradisum, Requiem Aeternum) and a powerful new Kyrie Eleison. The latter liturgical passages reflect the fact that Shakespeare was born into a Catholic family and that he was a noted recusant (one who refused to attend services of the protestant Church of England), as well as an author well-versed in the questions of faith.
Full score, vocal score, and parts are available thru the Canadian Music Centre. Contact the composer for further details.
Montreal's outstanding women's choir Concerto Della Donna is seeking out new directions following the retirement of their founding conductor, Canadian choral legend, Iwan Edwards at the end of 2014. One of the many things that I'm grateful for as a composer is all the fine performances of my music by Canadian choirs! But the time and care that Concerto Della Donna put into recording many of my compositions and arrangements for treble voices in 2011 really went beyond the call of duty. Their award-winning CD (Parlez-Moi: The Music of Allan Bevan) brilliantly showcases the group's wonderful voices, the superb playing of pianist Pamela Reimer, and the interpretative skill of Iwan Edwards.
I'm wishing the choir well as they move ahead in the future and my sincere thanks and appreciation to Iwan Edwards. Best wishes for a fantastic retirement, Iwan!
La chorale des femmes de Montréal Concerto Della Donna est à la recherche de nouvelles directions suite à la retraite de leur chef fondateur, la légende chorale canadienne, Iwan Edwards à la fin de 2014. Une des nombreuses choses que je suis reconnaissant pour tant que compositeur est tout l'amende performances de ma musique de chorales canadiennes! Mais le temps et le soin que Concerto Della Donna mis en enregistrant beaucoup de mes compositions et arrangements pour voix aiguës en 2011 vraiment allaient au-delà l'appel du devoir. Leur CD primé (Parlez-Moi: The Music of Allan Bevan) met en valeur avec brio merveilleuses voix du groupe, le superbe jeu de la pianiste Pamela Reimer et la compétence interprétative de Iwan Edwards.
Je suis désireux chœur bien qu'ils vont de l'avant dans l'avenir et mes sincères remerciements et sa gratitude à Iwan Edwards. Meilleurs voeux pour une retraite fantastique, Iwan!
Concerto Della Donna
Listen to or Purchase the CD on I-Tunes
CANADIAN CHOIRS ON CD – NEW RELEASES
CHORALES CANADIENNES SUR DISQUE – NOUVEAUX ENREGISTREMENTS SUR LE MARCHÉ
By/ Par Patricia Abbott
Allan Bevan: Parlez-moi
Concerto Della Donna, Iwan Edwards, conductor / directeur Pamela Reimer, piano Concerto Della Donna (2011)
This CD is a very attractive compilation of SSA/SSAA songs by Canadian composer
Allan Bevan, written over the past 25 years and all exquisitely sung by the fine Montreal group of young women,
Concerto Della Donna, and beautifully accompanied by Pamela Reimer.
On it you will find Bevan’s compositions, which took first prizes in ACCC’s Composition Competition
(Ave Maria, Echo, Harp of Wild), as well as some of his Christmas pieces and folk song arrangements. The title track,
Parlez-moi, is a recent piece and one of his two arrangements of songs written by Franco-Albertan writer/composer
France Levasseur-Ouimet included on the album. The other is Dormez, from the secular oratorio, Elles s’appelaient Marie.
If you do not know these pieces, know that this is all repertoire worth discovering and programming with your own equal-voice ensemble!
Ce CD est une très belle compilation de chansons SSA/SSAA écrites au cours
des 25 dernières années par le compositeur canadien Allan Bevan. Elles sont
toutes très finement interprétées par l’excellente chorale montréalaise de jeunes
femmes, Concerto Della Donna, et accompagnées avec finesse par Pamela Reimer.
Vous y trouverez les compositions de Bevan primées dans le Concours de composition de l’ACCC
(Ave Maria, Echo, Harp of Wild), ainsi que des noels et des arrangements de folklores. La pièce-titre, Parlez-moi,
est toute récente, et elle est l’une des deux arrangements de pièces écrites par l’auteur-compositeure
franco-albertaine, France Levasseur-Ouimet, inclus sur l’album. L’autre est
Dormez, tirée de l’oratorio Elles s’appelaient Marie. Si vous ne connaissez pas
encore ces pièces, sachez qu’il s’agit de répertoire à découvrir et à intégrer à vos
programmes pour voix égales!
Title: Your Songs (SSA and piano)
Text: Joseph Mary Plunkett (1873-1916)
Commissioned by: Women of Note, Patricia Rabson, conductor, Winnipeg, MB
Premiere: May 4, 2014, Manitoba Legislature
Available Through: Canadian Music Centre
Commissioned as part of the choir's 20th anniversary celebrations. Joseph Mary Plunkett was an Irish Catholic poet who was executed by the British for his part in the Easter Rebellion, 1916.