Music by: Robert Ingari (b. 1962)
Text by: Claude Lapointe
Performed by: Choeur de chambre du Québec
The newest choral work by Robert Ingari, composer and professor at Université de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec, is an a cappella setting of an original poem by his writing partner, Ms. Claude Lapointe of Montreal. Saint-Laurent is a work whose musical texture and language highlight and depict the grandeur of the Saint Lawrence River, an important figure in Quebec’s identity as well as in the history of North America. With a combination of minimalism, modality and soaring lyric vocal lines, Saint-Laurent opens with a simple soprano solo, unfolding into a trio of women soloists that opens into a grand symphonic tour de force for the 17 singers, each often singing his or her own individual voice part. Word and motivic repetition is an important element of the rhythmic structure, mirroring the continuity of the Saint Lawrence’s mighty yet calm waters and its breadth can be heard in the widely spaced chords. Claude Lapointe’s rich and evocative text is highlighted by undulating harmonies and extremes of register, all part of Ingari’s overall design for the work to represent in sound the expansive, chilling and majestic character of the great Saint Lawrence river.
Since 2008, Robert Ingari has been a Full Professor at l’Université de Sherbrooke, where he directs the Masters in choral conducting program (Longueuil Campus) and the École d’été de chant choral.
As a composer, his works have been performed by university, amateur and professional choirs in Canada, the U.S. and France. In 2014, his Psalm 23 had its French premier at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris under the direction of Catherine Simonpietri.
And in 2015, he conducted the premier of his choral work Vient le jour with the parisian professional choir Sequenza 9.3 and cellist Henri Demarquette at the Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris. He has also taught choral conducting masterclasses at the Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse de Lyon.