La  série  enchantée

 
 


A la claire fontaine    arr. Larry Nickel 


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1321
(see the score while you listen)

This song may have appeared as early as 1604, when the first French settlement was established in Quebec. A clear fountaine, a rose, and heart-break. Children sing this folk-song and adults relate to the deeper meanings.

Nickel gives the pentatonic melody evocative harmonization. This arrangement was premiered at the United Nations in Geneva. Please give a listen!


A la claire fontaine    arr. Mark Sirett 


SA  with piano    $2.35    CP 1446
(see the score while you listen)

This is the ideal setting for treble voices.


A la claire fontaine   arr. Stephen Smith 


SATB a cappella    $2.35    CP 1449
    (see the score while you listen)

This song may have appeared as early as 1604, when the first French settlement was established in Quebec. A clear fountaine, a rose, and heart-break. Children sing this folk-song and adults relate to the deeper meanings. Stephen’s setting is fresh and evocative.



L’annonce by Marie-Claire Saindon
SSAA with keyboard or strings    $2.25    CP 1436    
(see the score while you listen) 

Movement #1 from Meditations de la Vierge Marie. (available as a single score or the complete trilogy)


Le bas de Noël   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh, text by Mary Travers known as “La Bolduc”     


SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1433
    (listen here and view the score)

Remove stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use!

Often considered to be Quebec’s first singer-songwriter, Mary Travers (known as “La Bolduc”) hit the peak of her career in the 1930s. She popularized the well-known turlutte (French Canadian mouth music) that is now synonymous with Québecois folk song. She wrote mainly political and satirical songs, but also a number of New Year’s songs, although this particular one is a Christmas song. Le bas de Noël, depicts the antics of a family as they meet to celebrate Christmas together. La Bolduc’s tongue-in-cheek tone is found even here in her non-political song.


This piece was premiered in 2007 as a commission by the CBC and was directed by Zimfira Poloz at the CBC-McGill Youth Gala Concert in Montréal. It is the second arrangement of three songs by La Bolduc, originally entitled, La Bolduc en fête. It now forms part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series, La série enchantée.


Performers on this recording (and several of Erica’s pieces below) are as follows:

Zimfira Poloz, conductor

Anne-Marie Denoncourt, piano

André Brunet, violin

Frank Sears, diatonic accordion

Pierre Chartrand, spoons, bones and podorhythm



Bien vite c’est le jour de l’An   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh, text “La Bolduc”     


SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1434
    (listen here and view the score)

Mary Travers (known as “La Bolduc”) wrote mainly political and satirical songs, but also a number of New Year’s songs like this one. It speaks of families getting together for New Year’s – the good old times, the hugs and kisses, the gastronomical list of treats and of course, Grandma’s meat pie (tourtière). This arrangement is part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series entitled La série enchantée.



Ça va venir   arr. by Jean-Charles Côté


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1423    
(see the score while you listen)

Mary Rose-Anna Bolduc, née Travers, was a singer of French Canadian musician. She was known as Madame Bolduc or La Bolduc. During the peak of her popularity in the 1930s, she was known as the Queen of Canadian Folksingers. Jean-Charles has given a very convincing rendition of a Canadian classic.


C’est l’aviron   arr. Donald Patriquin


SSA with piano    $2.35    CP 1445
    (listen here and view the score)

SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1453

This is a wonderful example of a folk song that came to Canada (Quebec) from Europe (France) and was made into a 'local' work song with the addition of a refrain– all sung to make the hard work enjoyable while paddling canoes on early Quebec's waterways.



Ce matin j’ai recontré le train    by Michael Murray


SATB  a cappella  $2.35    CP 1420
(see the score while you listen)

Listen to this quality recording by musica intima - one of Canada’s finest choirs. Imagine being a bystander when the caravan with the three magi marches past on their way to Bethlehem.


Évangéline   by Michel Conte, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh,


SATB with piano  -  $2.75    CP 1551
    (listen here and view the score)

Evangeline is an epic poem that was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. It describes the betrothal of a fictional Acadian girl named Évangéline Bellefontaine to her beloved, Gabriel Lajeunesse, and their separation when the British deported the Acadians from Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, during the Bay of Fundy Campaign in 1755. The poem follows Evangeline as she spends years in search of Gabriel across America; sometimes she is near Gabriel without even realizing it. As an old woman, she works as a Sister of Mercy among the poor. While tending the dying during an epidemic, she finds Gabriel among the sick, and he sadly dies in her arms. The final verse of Michel Conte’s lyrics says, “Your name is more than Acadia…it stands for all those who, despite unhappiness, still believe in hope and love.”



L’enfant, l’oiseau et l’arbre - Bruno Dufresne


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1410 
    (listen here and view the score)


A bird, a tree, a child - with questions of happiness and loneliness. What a provoking trilogy to deal with the deep questions of our existence in such a charming way.



J’appartiens (I Belong)    by France Levasseur-Ouimet  arr  Allan Bevan   NEW


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1502
   (see the score while you listen)

SSA  with piano     $2.50    CP 1524


Regardless of colour or creed, we are all immigrants - one way or another - and we all belong. This stirring anthem goes straight to the heart.


Méditations de la Vierge Marie (trilogy) by Marie-Claire Saindon


SSAA with keyboard or strings    $5.25    CP 1440

Grand in scope and poignant in effect, Marie-Claire has written this wonderful work for women’s choir. Poems from three different sources illuminate aspects of the immaculate conception.


Merci mon Maitre by Marie-Claire Saindon
SSAA with keyboard or strings    $2.50    CP 1438    
(see the score while you listen) 

Movement #3 from Meditations de la Vierge Marie. (available as a single score or the complete trilogy)


Mon Pays (ce n’est pas un pays) - by Gilles Vigneault,  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB  with piano    $2.35    CP 1313 
  (view the score and listen here)

The song, with its lyrics about winds, cold, snow, and ice, of the solitude of wide open spaces and of the ideal of brotherhood, has become a kind of anthem in Quebec, with many people seeing it as expressing the free spirit of the province.


Noël nouvelet   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh - Traditional French Carol
SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1402
    (listen here and view the score)

This early 16th Century carol in Dorian mode is believed to be a New Year’s song as it includes not only the Nativity, but also a the visit from the Magi, which is associated with Epiphany on January 6. The most complete text that we have dates from the Bible des Noëls anciens, 1791, which has all 13 verses.



O lumière bienheureuse by Robert Ingari 


SATB  a cappella  $2.35    CP 1447
(see the score while you listen)

O most blessed light, fill the inmost heart of your faithful. Robert’s prayer really shines!


Parlez-moi    by France Levasseur-Ouimet  arr  Allan Bevan


SSA  with piano    $2.50    CP 1217  -
   (see the score while you listen)
SATB with piano   $2.50    CP 1261  -
   (see the score while you listen)

France wrote the poignant melody and text, Allan wrote a masterful choral arrangement. Listen to a young choir from Lyon give it a beautiful rendition.

Speak to me of the sea. Tell me its story so that I may become a sailor.

Speak to me of the prairies. Tell me their story so that I may be able to see beyond the horizon.

Speak to me of the earth. Tell me its story so that I may become its guardian.



Quittez pasteurs   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh - Traditional French Carol


SA (two part) with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1421
    (listen here and view the score)

This is an SA arrangement of an old Flemish tune with the French text first appearing in the Recueil de noëls angevins (1874). Listen for the hint of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and a lot of open fifth bagpipe bourdons embedded in the accompaniment that give it a pastoral feel. This arrangement is part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series entitled La série enchantée.



Le secret de Dieu by Marie-Claire Saindon
SSAA with keyboard or strings    $2.35    CP 1437    
(see the score while you listen) 

Movement #2 from Meditations de la Vierge Marie. (available as a single score or as the complete trilogy)


Vient le jour by Robert Ingari 


SATB  a cappella and cello    $2.50    CP 1414
(see the score while you listen)

This is some of Robert’s finest handiwork. Please give a listen.


Voici mon secret  by George Chung


SATB   a cappella    $2.25    CP 1409  
(see the score while you listen)

A life affirming poem from “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. George is very skilled at writing intuitive and evocative voice leading.  This fresh composition really communicates.


Voila le pere Noel   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh     


SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1432
    (listen here and view the score)

Mary Travers (known as “La Bolduc”) wrote mainly political and satirical songs, but also a number of New Year’s songs. However, this song is actually a Christmas song in which children are being admonished to go to bed early to ensure that when Santa arrives with his reindeer and gifts, he will be in a good mood. This arrangement is part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series entitled La série enchantée.

 

La série enchantée

new visions in French-Canadian choral music


Welcome to Cypress' new series of French Canadian music for choirs everywhere. I'm very pleased to recommend these timeless Canadian compositions and arrangements to conductors who are looking for quality music in one of the world’s most beautiful languages.  Each has something to offer the singer and the listener.  Be sure to listen to the audio links as you peruse the scores, and contact me any time to discuss how these pieces might work for your choir. Enjoy! - L.F.