Charles-Hugues Lefebvre

Charles-Hugues Lefebvre. Choirmaster, writer on music, critic, teacher, b St-Hugues, east of Montreal, 28 Aug 1864, d Montreal 22 Feb 1948. While receiving his education at the St-Hyacinthe Seminary, he studied piano and singing.

Lefebvre, Charles-Hugues

Charles-Hugues Lefebvre. Choirmaster, writer on music, critic, teacher, b St-Hugues, east of Montreal, 28 Aug 1864, d Montreal 22 Feb 1948. While receiving his education at the St-Hyacinthe Seminary, he studied piano and singing. He entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest in 1901; he completed his musical training through private lessons and a brief stay at the Benedictine Abbey at Solesmes, France, in 1903.

As choirmaster at the Gesù Church in Montreal 1903-15 and 1929-37, at Notre-Dame-du-Chemin Church in Quebec City 1923-9, and at the Jesuit College in Quebec City 1937-41, Lefebvre contributed to the reform of church singing in conformity with the Motu proprio of Pope Pius X (1903). In the same spirit he founded, and directed 1924-9, the Chorale Désy, a Quebec City mixed choir. Guillaume Dupuis and Henri Gagnon were among his pupils.

Under various pseudonyms Lefebvre contributed numerous articles to Le Messager canadien 1899-1909, to Le Devoir ca 1910, to La Musique 1919-22, and especially - as L.A. Muzette - to the Quebec City daily L'Action catholique, for which he wrote a weekly column 1924-8. In 1908 the Manuel de prières, de chants liturgiques et de cantiques notés à l'usage de tous fidèles by R. Vandandaigue, SJ, was published in Montreal. Lefebvre wrote the preface and became generally recognized as the person mainly responsible for the musical part of the work; it went through three subsequent editions (Paris 1924, 1929, 1931) and was used in the schools and colleges of France. He also edited Documents officiels sur la musique sacrée parus depuis cinquante ans (Montreal 1934).

Lefebvre composed an offertory of the mass for the dead, 'Domine Jesu Christe,' the psalm words sung by the choir in unison with soloists and quartet ad lib (Schola cantorum of Montreal 1921). He also composed hymns and plainsong harmonizations.


Further Reading

  • Bernier, Alfred. 'Nécrologie,' Lettres du Bas-Canada, vol 2, Montreal 1948

    Litterae annuae Provincial Canadae Inferioris S.J. (Montreal 1951)

    Musiciens canadiens