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Topic: Passing of a great Canadian composer

  1. #1

    Passing of a great Canadian composer

    This week brought us the sad news of the death of Jacques Hétu, one of the truly great Canadian composers. He left behind a legacy of symphonies, chamber works and concerti that merit solid places in the international repertoire.

    I had the great honour and privilege of meeting Jacques on many occasions, but sadly, not to study with him (he never taught composition).
    He is one of the very few Montreal composers who continued to compose in a neo-tonal manner, without being intimidated by the atonal avant-garde. He was refreshingly innovative in his use of tonality, and never consciously avoided non-tonal elements if they served his purpose.

    His passing is a very sad moment for all Canadian music.
    His being so little known outside of Québec is a sad state for the whole world.

    I have been in mourning since the announcement.

    Jacques tu va nous manquer terriblement. Je me rappelerai toujours de toi et ton influence. Merci pour ta vie.

  2. #2

    Re: Passing of a great Canadian composer

    Just listened some of excerpts of his music.
    Found it inspiring.
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  3. #3

    Re: Passing of a great Canadian composer

    A pity I 've never heard of him before. It is "manque" that he is not known outside Canada. I've just listened to this piece of music. A really great "Kyrië" where the music sustains the text very well.

    Thank you for bringing this,


  4. #4

    Re: Passing of a great Canadian composer

    In 1967, off on good behavior from Juilliard, I was studying at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and worked as a copyist on the side. Through the auspices of the CMC (Canadian Music Centre) I prepared the score and parts of Hétu's Woodwind Quintet. This was, of course, long before Sibelius, Finale and the like! The French/English division in Canada was (is) just as evident in its music as in all other aspects of Canadian life. Interesting experience for an American composer.

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