Quatuor à cordes (1968)

Claude Vivier

string quartet

Performances of Claude Vivier’s are a truly rare occasion. His first acknowledged work, this quartet was premiered in 1968 during Vivier’s final year at the Montreal conservatory. In the words of his biographer, Bob Gilmore:

The musical language of this work bears little resemblance to the style of the later works that have defined Vivier’s music. At the same time, this work is remarkable both as a testament to Vivier’s “first work” writing and as a fascinating expression of twentieth-century musical trends.

Viewed from this angle, this work should be considered as part of a Classical canon. Although the quartet is scored for a conventional ensemble and is composed in a language he would soon abandon, Vivier demonstrates here his mastery of techniques of the time that would later allow him to express himself freely.

Martine Rhéaume [viii-07]