Home 9 Composers 9 DAVID LYTLE

David Scott Lytle was born in Vancouver, grew up in Ottawa, moved to Montreal in 1980, and has lived in the Eastern Townships since 2006. He holds an undergraduate music degree from the University of Western Ontario and a masters degree in composition from McGill University, where he studied with Brian Cherney. While at McGill, David was a finalist in the CBC National Radio Competition for Young Composers.

Equally at home in setting English and French texts, David composed choral music almost exclusively from 1985 until the early 2000s. Several Montreal choirs, including the Orpheus Singers, Anima Musica and Modulation commissioned works by him during that period. David has directed church and community choirs, taught composition at CAMMAC and been a primary school music specialist, composing four children’s musicals in French.

A bass trombonist since his university days, in 2006 David began learning the viola, which he now plays with the symphony orchestra at Université de Sherbrooke. These days he composes primarily for string and wind ensembles. In 2020, he finished a lifelong project to write a musical based on the life of Oscar Wilde and is now looking to workshop it.

AU FÉMININ PLURIEL - the complete trilogy

by David Lytle

SSAA with piano – CP 2214 – duration 15:00

Individual movements – listed below.

Composed in 1999, Au féminin pluriel is a three-movement work for women’s choir and piano. It was commissioned by Modulation, a Montreal chamber choir directed by Lucie Roy.

The title, which preceded the composition, was inspired by a family discussion about French grammar. “Au féminin pluriel” refers to the agreement in gender (feminine) and number (plural) French grammar often requires. It immediately struck me as the perfect title for a women’s choir piece.

When Modulation asked me to compose for them, the title was obvious. I instructed members of the choir to jot down typical things a woman might say and, in the end, decided to focus on three specific life stages or roles: young girls, mothers and grandmothers. Although I organized the lyrics, virtually all of the text was written by the members of Modulation.

AH VOUS DIRAIS-JE, MAMAN - mvt. 1 from the "Au féminin pluriel" trilogy

by David Lytle

SSAA with piano – CP 2211 – duration 3:33

The first movement of Au féminin pluriel combines playground skipping rhymes (comptines) with short utterances typical of young girls. The text and rhythm of the comptines came from the six-year-old daughter of a chorister, but the musical setting is original.

RIEN QU’UNE MÈRE - mvt. 2 from the "Au féminin pluriel" trilogy

by David Lytle

SSAA with piano – CP 2213 – duration 5:37

This movement depicts sunrise to sunset in one day of a mother’s life. Utterly dedicated to her daughter, the mother experiences emotions ranging from tenderness to frustration. Finding herself alone when her daughter goes out, she expresses deep frustration at having to balance her role as mother with her own life as a woman.

DANS MON TEMPS - mvt. 3 from the "Au féminin pluriel" trilogy

by David Lytle

SSAA with piano – CP 2212 – duration 5:27

A family visit to see grandmother begins when the doorbell rings. After fond embraces and remarks on the children having grown, the grandmother is reminded of how things were different in her time (dans mon temps). She begins to reminisce and before she knows it, the family is already on their way. A certain sadness takes hold, for their treasured visits are becoming more infrequent.