Montreal Symphony Premieres New Work by Denys Bouliane

Classic Arts News   Montreal Symphony Premieres New Work by Denys Bouliane
 
The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) performs the world premiere of Tetrapharmakos, a concerto for piano, violin, and cello by Canadian composer Denys Bouliane, in two concerts starting tonight.

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.


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