“Quebec composer Gilles Tremblay grew up in a small town near the Saguenay River and spent much of his adult life near the St. Lawrence,” writes Robert Everett-Green in Thursday’s (8/3) Globe and Mail (Canada). He died on July 27 at age 84. “Many of his pieces reflect on his deep relationship with flowing waters and the natural world. Mr. Tremblay was a patriarch of Montreal’s contemporary music scene and a tireless guide to generations of younger composers and musicians, including Claude Vivier, Isabelle Panneton and Serge Provost. His celebrated works ranged from his 1967 commission for the Quebec Pavilion at Expo 67; to his 2007 ‘fairy opera,’ L’eau qui danse, la femme qui chante et l’oiseau qui dit la vérité…. His Envol, a work for solo flute, was the first music heard at the inaugural concert of Montreal’s orchestral hall, Maison symphonique, in 2011…. In 1954, Mr. Tremblay moved to Paris, where he met the man he called his ‘spiritual father’: French composer Olivier Messiaen…. Mr. Tremblay favoured a clear, brilliantly coloured kind of music, filled with ecstatic episodes and sudden illuminations…. Mr. Tremblay never wrote to shock, but attracted resistance with works such as Fleuves, his 1976 commission for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.”

Posted August 4, 2017