The soloists and dedicatees for the piece are pianist Louis Lortie and violinist Chantal Juillet‹both, like Bouliane, natives of Montreal‹as well as cellist Antonio Lysy, a former colleague of the composer on the faculty of McGill University. OSM principal guest conductor Jacques Lacombe conducts.
Tetrapharmakos is based on the "fourfold remedy of Epicurus"‹the philosopher's teachings for a happy existence. Bouliane writes in his program notes, "It consists of four precepts that carry manifold ramifications":
1) "We have nothing to fear from the gods" (they are not the guiding principle behind everything, but rather projections of ourselves, and in this regard he recalls Voltaire); 2) "We need not worry about death" (it is beyond our means of understanding, so there is nothing to be gained in speculation); 3) "One can bear pain" (if we give it meaning); and 4) "One can attain happiness" (if we accept our finite existence as well as the measure of freedom and responsibility allotted to us).
Also on the program are a suite of music from Janšcek's Cunning Little Vixen, arranged by conductor Všclav Tal‹ch and revised by Všclav Smatacek; Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; and Stravinsky's second Firebird Suite.