La Cantoria

La Cantoria. Montreal choir with a nucleus of about 30 voices, founded ca 1939, and directed by Victor Brault. It performed choral works with one or two pianos as well as operas and oratorios. Its aim was to promote Canadian music and partsongs and folksongs from other countries.

La Cantoria

La Cantoria. Montreal choir with a nucleus of about 30 voices, founded ca 1939, and directed by Victor Brault. It performed choral works with one or two pianos as well as operas and oratorios. Its aim was to promote Canadian music and partsongs and folksongs from other countries. Four CBC radio series, 'Le Chant du monde' 1939-42, were very successful and later were broadcast in Latin America. La Cantoria, under Jean-Marie Beaudet's direction, also sang for the CBC Honegger's Le Roi David in 1941, and Pierné's La Croisade des enfants in 1942 and Les Enfants à Bethléem in 1946. In September 1943 the choir, a member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, took part in Metropolitan performances of Aida, Lohengrin, and Boris Godunov at the St-Denis Theatre. It also performed operas such as Orphée et Eurydice and Carmen with Victor Brault.

Brault commissioned original works by several renowned composers, including Alexandre Tansman, whose Deux Chants anciens religeux de Pologne, for choir and piano, La Cantoria premiered on CBC radio in 1945. With the co-operation of Nadia Boulanger and Jean Françaix La Cantoria appeared in 1947 at the École normale in Paris, singing Lili Boulanger's Vieille prière bouddhique and works by Canadian composers, notably Claude Champagne (Suite canadienne, its first performance in Paris since it had been premiered there in 1928), James Callihou (Léo-Pol Morin), Laurent Winter (Victor Brault), and Andrée Desautels. The honorary board of La Cantoria included Sir Ernest MacMillan, Claude Champagne, Darius Milhaud, Vladimir Golschmann, Alexandre Tansman, and Arthur Honegger. La Cantoria recorded Champagne's Suite canadienne in 1945 on 78 rpm (RCI Canadian Album no. 1/RCA DM-1229) with the CBC Montreal orchestra conducted by Beaudet (a reissue was released in 1988 on 4-ACM 30). The choir disbanded in the early 1950s.

Another ensemble, La Cantoria de Montréal, directed by Pierre Albrech, flourished briefly in 1926.