Alfred Paré

(Adélard) Alfred (Étienne) Paré, violinist, baritone (born 10 January 1829 in Québec City; dead there 18 Dec 1916).

Alfred Paré

(Adélard) Alfred (Étienne) Paré, violinist, baritone (born 10 January 1829 in Québec City; dead there 18 Dec 1916). Paré was a merchant and later (1868-80) a civil servant in the Quebec dept of crown lands. Having studied with C W Sabatier and Louis Sigismond Pfeiffer, he became known, however, for his numerous musical activities in the latter half of the 19th century. Besides skills on the violin, the viola, and the piano, he had, according to Nazaire LeVasseur 'a wide knowledge of all matters of music - its history, its literature and its practitioners.' He played second violin in the Quebec Harmonic Society, the Septett Club, and the Septuor Haydn and took up the viola in 1875. As a singer he premiered Sabatier's 'Le Drapeau de Carillon' 15 May 1858.

However, Paré's name was linked particularly to the Septuor Haydn, of which he was president 1871-2, 1875-6, 1877-81, and 1884-6, a member of a committee convened 1874-5 'to decide matters of great importance,' and librarian 1877-8, 1882-4, and 1886-8. In the last-named position he was assiduous in developing the collection of scores later preserved at the Seminaire de Québec. A 'catalogue of the septuor's library compiled by Mr. Paré' and ready for the printer is mentioned in minutes of 11 May 1874. He was on committees to welcome visiting musicians such as Sabatier, who arrived from Montreal in 1854, and he helped to organize concerts such as the one on 7 Oct 1872 in honour of Antoine Dessane.

Few testimonials to Paré have survived. The author (possibly LeVasseur) of an article in Le Canada musical called Paré 'a true lover of Sappho.' In an undated letter to Paré, Frantz Jehin-Prume refers to work 'done with the assistance of music-lovers in whose efforts I am pleased to detect your influence.' This influence appears to have been effective if one compares the dates of Paré's presidency of the Septuor Haydn with the difficulties experienced and overcome by that society in the first 15 years of its existence.

Paré composed the Quadrilles Malakhoff for piano (Carey Brothers 1855) and the romance 'Le Retour,' words by Louis-Honoré. Fréchette, (La Lyre canadienne, 4th edn, Quebec City 1886). He was a member of the AMQ from 1871 until his death.

Further Reading

  • Têtu, Henri. 'Impressions musicales, chapitre VIII,' Quebec City Action sociale, 3 Apr 1915

    LeVasseur, Nazaire. 'Musique et musiciens à Québec,' La Musique, 1919-22

    Réminiscences d'Antan: Québec il y a 70 ans (Quebec City 1926)