Joseph-Julien Perrault

Joseph-Julien Perrault. Choirmaster, composer, b Montreal 8 or 18 May 1826, d Varennes, near Montreal, 22 Aug 1866. He studied theology 1844-7 at the Grand séminaire de Montréal and 1847-9 at the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice in Paris. He was ordained a priest in Paris in 1849.

Perrault, Joseph-Julien

Joseph-Julien Perrault. Choirmaster, composer, b Montreal 8 or 18 May 1826, d Varennes, near Montreal, 22 Aug 1866. He studied theology 1844-7 at the Grand séminaire de Montréal and 1847-9 at the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice in Paris. He was ordained a priest in Paris in 1849.

Perrault returned to Canada to serve as a teacher and choirmaster 1850-3 at the Collège de Montréal. He was choirmaster 1859-61 and 1863-6 to the parish of Notre-Dame. A self-taught musician and an outstanding score-reader familiar with orchestral instruments, he presented a Haydn mass on St-Jean-Baptiste day in 1860 and conducted two long-remembered performances (in 1861 at the Cabinet de lecture paroissial) of the symphonic ode Le Désert by Félicien David.

Among Perrault's publications are Recueil de cantiques (Chapleau 1859, 1869) and Messe de Noël: 'Deo Infanti' (1859-60), to which he added a Credo and a Magnificat in 1865 (Ateliers du Nouveau-Monde 1870, Boucher ca 1882). His four-part harmonizations of two plainsong masses - a Messe des morts (with L.-A. Barbarin) and the Messe du second ton by Du Mont - were published by Boucher. Eugène Lapierre edited a modern version of the Messe de Noël (Boucher 1945). Perrault composed a number of motets, psalms, and choruses with accompaniments for organ and orchestra.


Further Reading

  • 'Feu Messire Joseph-Julien Perreault,' Canada musical, vol 1, 1 Oct 1866

    Myrand, Ernest. Noëls anciens de la Nouvelle-France, 2nd edn (Quebec City 1907)

    DCB, vol 9