Marc Gagné | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Marc Gagné

Marc Gagné. Composer, writer, ethnomusicologist, organist, teacher, b Saint-Joseph de Beauce, Que, 16 Dec 1939; D.èsL. (Laval) 1971.

Gagné, Marc

Marc Gagné. Composer, writer, ethnomusicologist, organist, teacher, b Saint-Joseph de Beauce, Que, 16 Dec 1939; D.èsL. (Laval) 1971. Following graduate studies in literature at Laval University, he studied composition, mostly with Jacques Hétu, ethnomusicology and folklore with Roger Matton, Luc Lacourcière and Roger Pinon at that university. He covered (1970-8) systematically the whole region of the Beauce to collect on magnetic tape the most important evidence of musical folklore still alive in the area. Over 2800 pieces, songs for the most part, were thus deposited at the Archives de folklore of Laval U; they served as source material for two publications and a CBC radio series on folklore. This musicological search had a noticeable influence on several of his works, in particular Symphonie de chants paysans (commissioned by the Alliance chorale canadienne in 1979), and Symphonie-itinéraire (commissioned by the Quebec Symphony Orchestra in 1982 for the Jacques Cartier anniversary celebrations). His musical language, although very contemporary, calls on folklore through a transposition process involving at once melody, rhythm and harmony. In the same spirit, he wrote both the musical score and the libretto of two operas: Menaud, after F.-A. Savard's novel, Menaud, maître-draveur, and Évangéline et Gabriel, partially based on H. W. Longfellow's Évangéline. Since 1970, Gagné has been professor of literature at Laval University where his teaching dwells essentially on the relationships between music and literature. A member of the CLComp, he is also an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. From 1963 to 1986, he sat successively on the boards of the CLComp and the Canada Council.


Menaud, opera in 3 acts and 1 prologue. 1986. Solos, chorus, orch. Ms

Évangéline et Gabriel, opera in 2 acts. 1987-90. Solos, chorus, chamber orch. Ms


Marc Gagné, Visages de Gabrielle Roy (Montreal 1973)

Propos de Gilles Vigneault (Montreal 1974)

'La Rivière sans repos de Gabrielle Roy: étude mythocritique incluant Voyage en Ungava (extraits) par Gabrielle Roy,' R de l'Un. d'Ottawa, vol 46, Jan-Sep 1976

C'est dans la Nouvelle-France, libretto accompanying the record Tamanoir TAMX-27005 (Montreal 1977)

Gilles Vigneault (Quebec City 1977)

Chantons la chanson (Quebec City 1985)


Symphonie de chants paysans. 1977-9. Solos, chorus, orch. Ms

Concerto pour orchestre de chambre: Les Dicts du lunanthrope. 1982. Ms

Symphonie-itinéraire (pour le retour de Jacques Cartier). 1984. Ms


Quatuor du petit chaperon rouge. 1981. Saxophone quartet. Ms

Sonate du roi Renaud. 1983. Alto saxophone, piano. Ms

Vari-ânes et mouli-nations. 1983. Mar. Ms

Choir and Voice

Les Chansons de la tourelle (F.-A. Savard). 1975. Sop, piano. Ms.

Les Jeunes filles à marier. 1976. Chor. Ms

Gloire à Dieu, cantata. 1980. SATB, horn, organ, 3 percussion. Ms

Messe brève 'Du peuple de Dieu'. 1980. SATB. Ms


Jeu à deux faces. 1976. Pf. Ms

Deux chorals pour le temps de la Passion. 1976. Org. Ms

Cérémonial d'orgue pour la fête de la Toussaint. 1977. Ms

Cérémonial d'orgue pour la fête de la Transfiguration. 1979. Ms

Cérémonial d'orgue pour la fête du Très Saint-Sacrement. 1979. Ms

Further Reading