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solo violin, percussion and string orchestra

After Claude’s tragic death in 1983, I nursed the idea of dedicating a work to him that would be a sort of posthumous tribute, relating the high points of his musical life through a kind of chronological trajectory through some of his own music. Unfortunately, though the idea continued to develop in my mind, time passed as I was weighted down with a number of professional obligations, and in the end, sixteen years elapsed between the conception and the realization of the project. I should also say that, in those days, there was a considerable gap between our aesthetic views, and Claude’s essentially monodic approach was somewhat at odds with my formal preoccupations. In the course of time, circumstances led me to conduct his music on a number of occasions, which allowed me to gradually discover not only its strengths and weaknesses, but also its grandeur. I learned to love it passionately. Generally speaking, La vie d’un Héros could be thought of as a type of family photo album: in it we see a series of precious moments, fixed in time, never to return. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, photographs may also prompt us to imagine a number of things that are not visually represented: the mood of the moment, sounds and smells, conversations, etc. Thus, I attempted to musically limit the image’s power of suggestion, something that is almost pure magic, by using a melody from Bouchara as a guiding idea. This “theme” is interwoven with other pieces by Vivier, as well as the Bach choral O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden. In this way, the photo album takes on life, the images merge with others, memories collide, creating a world of fluid impressions, continually transforming, the whole replete with nuance. A nostalgic return to this time, where Claude and I appear together at times in the same image, at times alone, I wanted to point out how our so-called musical antagonism was really only an illusion, and how, despite appearances, we were always on the same wavelength.

Walter Boudreau

  • Score available at CMC, Région du Québec.
  • Recording: available at SMCQ’s office