mixed chorus, 3 synthetizers and 2 percussions

Premiere: April 20, 1990, Concert 197 [Vivier], Salle Claude-Champagne — Université de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)

In the midst of his last trip to Paris, Vivier began work on the prophetic Crois-tu en l’immortalité de l’âme? It would remain unfinished. As the music unfolds, a voice separates from the texture above it. It is more down to earth by comparison with other Vivier works, and disarming in the neutral tone adopted to describe an eminently tragic moment. It is as though Death, a recurring theme in the composer’s works, should be approached in a state of resignation, even serenity: “And without further ado, he drew a dagger out of his black jacket (probably bought in Paris), and stabbed me right in the heart.” With these words, the work itself is snuffed out, bluntly, like an exclamation mark. A barely soothing response may be found in Vivier’s composition notes, “Er sagte ‘Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele—‘Ja’ sagte ich,” or, “He said ‘Do you believe in the immortality of the soul’—‘Yes’ I would say.”

Martine Rhéaume [viii-07]