Play audio clip

Integral/parent work: L’asile de la pureté

Asylum waltz is an excerpt of the stage music composed for L’Asile de la pureté, (Asylum of Purity) the first accomplished play by the famous Québec poet and playwright Claude Gauvreau, completed in 1948, when the author was only 23 years of age. The play was finally presented in Montreal in 2004, 50 years after its conception!

Visited in a dream by his muse, who recently committed suicide, Donatien Marcasillard (Gauvreau…) inconsolable, has started a hunger strike, which leads him progressively towards irreversible madness.

After having tried without success to appease him and to lessen his pain, she invites him to a last waltz, before vanishing forever.

Inspired by “circus” music, the barrel organ as well as the intellectual «darkness» of that period, Asylum waltz is a musical microcosms of the tormented existence of Gauvreau; somber, frightening, luminous, hesitating, mystical, sensuous, exalted, revolted and finally, concluding in a blind alley.

The music for the play Asylum of Purity has earned Walter Boudreau two major distinctions:

  • The Gascon-Roux Peoples Award and Masque 2004 for the best stage music.
  • This solo piano version has been recorded by Alain Lefèvreon ANALEKTA label AN 2 9275.