Commentaires sur le disque « Oeuvres sacrées »

« Une Messe des Morts dans l'esprit de la polyphonie de la Renaissance ouvre ce disque, suivie d'un fort émouvant Pie Jesu interprété avec intensité par la mezzo-soprano Claudine Ledoux. En solo ou avec choeur, la soprano Stéphanie Lessard, le ténor Philippe Gagné, le baryton Vincent Ranallo et le baryton-basse Normand Richard prêtent aussi leur voix avec expression et sensibilité à des pages pleines de piété (Improperium, Exaltabo te, O Salutaris, Ave Maria). On soulignera l'excellence des choeurs: Les Chantres Musiciens et les Filles de l'Île, dirigés par Gilbert Patenaude. L'interprétation par le choeur féminin d'un Ave Maria et par le choeur d'hommes a cappella de la Messe brève sont particulièrement remarquables et montrent la pertinence de faire connaître la musique d'Auguste Descarries, À l'orgue, souvent discrète et toujours efficace, Hélène Panneton. »


Irène Brisson, musicologue

Bulletin des Amis de l'orgue de Québec

Avril 2014 - no 132

« Just a quick word to say thanks again. We have enjoyed the Descarries enormously. Your project was an excellent discovery. I love his exploitation of the tierce de Picardie in so many of his cadences. It's an easy trick, but a most effective one since about 1450! And the singers on the record are superb.»

Donald Beecher,

Université Carleton (Ottawa)

Novembre 2015



« Yesterday  I sat down and listened carefully to the CD you had sent, rather than have it as  'music' in the background  as I made muffins...! And of course I read the booklet, which I thought was very informative and useful to better appreciate the music, even though we all know about sacred music.  The photos were good too; people always  like photos! -- me too!

 I was not sure what to expect. The sacred music written in the 20th century with which I am familiar, such as Tavener, Pärt, Lauridsen, Jenkins, but certainly excluding Chesnokov, is  what I would call modern.  Whereas Descarries's music  is  late romantic 
and  as  you note,  influenced by the Russian composers.. ( many of whom I  do not know, that are mentioned in  the booklet). There are some modern echoes, as in the «Amen» of the Dies irae, the Pie Jesu, even the Ave Maria. it is  interesting to speculate  what Descarries  might have written had he lived  10 or even 20  more years.

However, he was writing sacred music  in the tradition of sacred  music, and it is quite beautiful and solemn, and suitably gregorian for liturgical music! The soloists did a fantastic job, I  especially  enjoyed the tenor (of course  it is my favourite voice), along with  mezzo or contralto ( almost tenors). I appreciated  the  perfect pronunciation of the latin, having  sung many of the same words myself.  They were easy to understand, and I am sure most  in the audience would know the texts. For me, the sorrow and pathos were  evident in the music, and very  moving.  What I missed, -and this only occasionally - was the hellfire and  brimstone. The one section that  had me waving my arms around  was the Dies irae, where I wished he had written it for the whole choir, as the womens' voices would have added to the fear meant to be inspired by God's wrath.  The men's choir did not quite convince me.

The Hosanna with the two choirs had the celebratory feeling that I would  have  liked to hear - transcribed to anger - in the Dies Irae. Alors...  you may think I listen to all music with such an  analytical cast, but usually I just enjoy it, which I did, immensely ! I think you and your  colleagues have done a tremendous job, and will make this music, of a Canadian composer available to all of us.
Donc, félicitations encore! »

Lorelei Robins, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

Fondatrice et directrice du Festival «Musique à Saint-Bernard»

8 novembre 2013