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REVIEW - RJ LANNAN - Zone Music Reporter New Orleans, LA , USA
Light Through the Ages
Who would have thought that a symphony written in the modern day would have its roots begin in the ancient city of Corinth around 54 A.D.? It was time when St. Paul wrote to the church of Corinth urging unity, which became two books in the bible. Fast forward to a popular wedding song called If I Dont Have Love (Si je nai pas Lamour) by Denis Veilleux. It became the impetus for François Couture and La Symphonie Des Lampes Allumées, a Neo-symphonic work of epic proportions. Orchestra and chorus blend seamlessly into a contemporary work that incorporates several genres including classical and cinematic. It is an ambitious work made up of eighteen tracks, but due to their classically influenced nature, I am compelled to call them movements.
François Couture is a well-known Québécois composer and sound sculptor with ten releases to date. He is an award-winning musician who is known for joining eclectic elements that represent unusual topics together and having great success with the results. Denis Veilleux is a remarkable writer, singer, and songwriter who focuses on religious based music. He has been known to take on causes for the greater good. Both men reveal a strong show of faith in their music. Although I would like to, I cannot review all eighteen tracks, but the highlights are spectacular.
Avant La Création du Monde (Before the Creation of the World) opens the symphony with a bold, cinematic like piece. The music is reminiscent of a John Williams filmscore. It is warm and organic and grows, as if I could envision the beginning of the creation of the planet. Molten lava flows as strongly as the seas, there is disorder, there is solidification, but mostly, there is light. Next, the world becomes a living, breathing thing in the music PremiersBattement de Coeurs (First Heartbeats). The friction of change has diminished as the light and heat combine into a force.
Passage Etroit (Narrow Passage) is one of my many favorites. It is complex flow of instrumentation. It seemed as if the horizon could never be met no matter how far I traveled. Finally, I imagined myself at that well know stopping point, a rock and a hard place. Did I want to see what was on the other side?
La Poursuite (The Chase) is a fast paced tune in which I had to wonder who was chasing whom? The music urged me on, but I never knew to where or for what purpose. Perhaps in the end I will find out. A slow piece called Enfin Du Secours! (Help Arrives!) offers not only a bit of rest, but a scant suggestion of optimism. The music with its warm chorale background is evenly paced, melodious, and hopeful.
You would think that a tune about a smile would be lighthearted, but Qui Est Là Et Me Sourit? (Who's There Smiling at Me?) is a very serious work. It sounded to me like a lament, an occasion full of sadness. The trumpet and chorus combination is somber.
Is the tangible creation of life on earth represented by the tune, Le Seisme Divin (The Divine Earthquake) I wondered? It is not quite violent, but the music builds and becomes a gradual process. The tune segues into the next track, Le Cosmos En Actes (The Cosmos in Acts). The tempo is quite positive in this one, alluding to the earth hurtling though space, finally on its predestined course.
The last two tracks represent man's life on earth as it was given to him by God. LHotel-Dieu De LAmour (Hotel-Dieu of Love) is the setting in which Adam and Eve is given everything they need to have a bountiful life. Le Jardin De Corinth (The Garden of Corinth) with a warm melody and angelic chorus, is where they end up, for it is truly paradise. For it is the discovery of inner light.
This s a remarkable work and my words are probably not adequate to describe all the nuances that can be found in every track. The story has a wonderful flow and once the listener is acquainted with the music, he/she is able to follow the story quite easily. This powerful work by Couture and Veilleux is just begging for a large stage and an even larger audience. Cette uvre puissante par Couture et Veilleux mériterait d'etre joue sur de grandes scenes et d'etre entendue par un public encore plus grand.
|Rating: Excellent reviewed by RJ Lannan on 5/29/2015|
ECDQ - TV
La Symphonie des lampes allumées nait dun chant. Un chant connu et aimé au Québec. Un best-seller des célébrations de mariage. Si je nai pas lamour, composé par Denis Veilleux en 1978, qui a voyagé dans les pays francophones et a été traduit en dautres langues, est ladaptation dun extrait de la lettre aux Corinthiens de Saint-Paul appelé lHymne à la charité (1 Cor 13).
Ce chant est lADN de La Symphonie qui culmine à la toute fin de luvre tel un message universel damour.
Cest en mars 2014 que sélabore ce projet après une rencontre avec le compositeur François Couture de Québec. La Symphonie nest pas une suite de variations sur le thème du chant. Toute liberté a été laissée au compositeur. Mais il lui fallait la trame dune histoire à partir de laquelle il allait composer. Jai donc esquissé ce que jappelle le chemin de la Bible en marquant les moments clés qui me sont apparus incontournables. La Symphonie ne commence pas au Livre de la Genèse, mais bien plutôt par un extrait de la Lettre de Saint-Paul aux Éphésiens1:4: En lui, Dieu nous a élus avant la fondation du monde.
La mouvance des chemins dans la Bible évoque à chaque moment la succession des lampes qui sallument. Elles appellent chaque fois un mémorial, une impression profonde de notre propre histoire du Salut. La Symphonie nest pas un décalque collé aux événements successifs même si elle sen rapproche. Jai placé les sept jours de la Création du ciel et de la terre dans la parabole de la graine de moutarde. (Mt 13 :31)
Le talent de François Couture se déploie sur fond de scène biblique mais également dans une sonorité contemporaine.
La Symphonie a imposé delle-même les voix humaines qui sallument ici et là, suggérant luvre spirituelle et religieuse de fragments de paroles que jai écrites et dont le message final nous fait entrer dans le Jardin de Corinthe -- un rappel original du chant Si je nai pas lamour.
Nous remercions La Fondation Radio Galilée, ainsi que trois personnes qui ont largement contribué à la production de luvre sur disque compact et qui ont tenu à conserver lanonymat. Nous aurons travaillé dans lesprit de la Nouvelle Évangélisation en tentant de tracer concrètement ce pont entre la culture et le message judéo-chrétien, dans le sillon du troisième millénaire après lÉvénement de Jésus mort et ressuscité.
The Symphony of Illuminated Lamps was inspired by a popular and much loved Quebec song, a best-seller for weddings, called Si je nai pas lamour (If I dont have love). Composed by Denis Veilleux in 1978, this song made its way through French-speaking countries and was translated into other languages. This song is the adaptation of part of a letter in Corinthians written by St. Paul, called Hymn to Love. (1 Corinthians 13).
This song is the DNA of The Symphony, which culminates in a universal message of love.
This project was developed in 2014 after a meeting with composer François Couture from Quebec City. The Symphony is not a series of variations on the songs theme. The composer was given complete freedom. But he needed the framework of a story from which to compose. So I sketched out what I call the Path of the Bible, marking key moments that I felt were essential. The Symphony does not begin with the Book of Genesis, but with an excerpt from St. Pauls letter to the Ephesians1:4: As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world.
The movement of the paths in the Bible evoke a succession of lamps lighting up. Each time, they call up a memorial, a deep sense of our own history of Salvation. The Symphony is not a series of decals stuck to successive events, although it is close. I placed the seven days of creation of heaven and earth in the parable of the mustard seed. (Matthew 13:31)
François Coutures talent takes flight against a biblical backdrop, but the sound is contemporary.
The Symphony needed human voices lighting up here and there to suggest the spiritual and religious sense of this work through fragments of lyrics I wrote. Their final message takes us into the Garden of Corinth a reminder of the song Si je nai pas lamour.
We thank Fondation Radio Galilée and three people, who wish to remain anonymous, who greatly contributed to the production of the compact disc. We have worked in the spirit of New Evangelization by attempting to build a bridge between the Judeo-Christian culture and its message in the third millennium after the Event of the death and resurrection of Jesus.