Maurice Dela

Maurice (b Albert) Dela (b Phaneuf). Composer, arranger, organist, pianist, (b Montreal 9 Sep 1919, d Verdun [Montreal] 28 Apr 1978); BA (Montreal) 1940.

Dela, Maurice

Maurice (b Albert) Dela (b Phaneuf). Composer, arranger, organist, pianist, (b Montreal 9 Sep 1919, d Verdun [Montreal] 28 Apr 1978); BA (Montreal) 1940. He took lessons in organ and theory with Raoul Paquet, then studied theory and composition 1943-7 at the CMM with Séverin Moisse and Claude Champagne. He studied orchestration concurrently with Leo Sowerby in Chicago and J.-J. Gagnier in Montreal. He received the CAPAC prize in 1947 for Petite Suite maritime and Ballade, Laval University's tri-centenary prize in 1952 for Les Fleurs de Glais, and the CFMTA prize in 1960 for String Quartet No. 1. His Sonatinae for violin and piano has been played many times in Canada and in Europe, and his Scherzo was performed in 1970 by the Costa Rica SO conducted by Carlos Vargos.

After 14 years (1951-65) as an arranger and composer for the CBC, Dela was director and supervisor of music teaching 1965-78 at André-Laurendeau secondary school and taught orchestration 1973-8 at the UQAM. He was organist at the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs in Verdun and wrote articles for the periodical Les Carnets viatoriens. Though the form of his later works remained classical, he often used polytonality and occasionally incorporated elements of serialism. He composed pedagogical pieces and works for recorder, organ, and piano, and harmonized numerous popular and folk songs, including some by Gilles Vigneault. In June 1978 the André-Laurendeau secondary school named its concert hall Salle Albert-Phaneuf in his memory. Dela was a member of the CLComp. His status as an associate composer is maintained by the CMCentre. A collection of his papers is held at the National Library of Canada.

Selected Compositions

Orchestra
Ballade. 1945. Pf, orch. Ber

Concerto for piano and orchestra. 1946. Ms

Dans tous les cantons. 1949 (rev 1950). Str orch (harp, celesta, strings). Ber 1950. CTL CTL-477-65137/Citadel CT-6013 (Hart House O)

Ronde (Hugo). 1949. Sop, orch (mezzo, piano). BMIC 1950. RCI 35 (E. Benson Guy)/Master MA-377 (D. Mills)

Le chat, la belette et le petit lapin.. 1950 (rev 1965). Narr, orch. Ms

Les Fleurs de Glais (F. Mistral). 1951. Narr, orch. Ms

Scherzo. 1952. Clark and Cruickshank 1974. CBC SM-132 (Atlantic Symphony Orchestra)

Adagio. 1956. Str orch. Ms. CTL 477-65137 (Hart House O)

Projection. 1966. Ms

Symphony No. 1. 1970. Ms

Symphony No. 2 'Concertante'. 1972. Ms

Tryptique. 1973. Ms

Suite 437. 1977. Concert band. Quebec Government 1979 (First movement)

Other works for orch and various instr in manuscript.

Chamber Music

Sonatina. 1945. Vn, piano. Ms

Petit Suite maritime. 1947. Ww quintet. Ber 1979. (Excerpts) CBC Expo 11 (Tor WW Quin)

String Quartet No. 1 (2nd movement arr from Adagio for string orch). 1960. Ms

String Quartet No. 2. 1963. Ms

10 Bagatelles. 1975. Sop recorder. Musantiqua 1975 (includes accompanying record)

Gratifications I. 1976. Sop recorder. Musantiqua 1976 (includes accompanying record)

Gratifications II, III, IV. 1976 Sop recorder. Musantiqua 1976 (includes accompanying record)

Choir or Voice

'Xami' (A. Ferland). 1945. V, piano. Arch 1945. Master MA-275 (D. Mills)

'Ballade' (R. Lasnier). 1946. V, piano. Ms. Master MA-275 (D. Mills)

'Berceuse béarnaise' (anonymous). 1947. V, piano. P-T, Oct 1947. West WST-17137/West Gold W6S-8124 (Forrester)

'Spleen' (Verlaine). 1949. V, piano. BMIC 1950

Les Saisons (Mme M. Dela). 1954. V, piano. Ms. CBC Expo 33 (Simoneau)/RCI 470 (Trépanier)

'La Lettre' (H. Barbusse). 1956. V, piano. BMIC 1956

'Le Vaisseau d'or' (E. Nelligan). 1967. SATB. Alliance des chorales du Québec 1975

'Le Paysage' (G. Vigneault). 1972. SATB. Ms

Other works, including 3 pieces for piano published by BMIC; collections of songs for children; several song arr published by Arch, the Alliance des chorales du Québec, J.C.L. Cartier, les Editions enfantines and Musantiqua; a few arr recorded on Vox STPL-511.860 (Montreal Bach Choir) and RCI 186 (Deslauriers)


Further Reading

  • Thériault, Jacques. 'Enjoyment of music Dela's chief concern,' MSc, 267, Sep-Oct 1972

    BMI Canada Ltd/PRO Canada Ltd. 'Maurice Dela,' pamphlet (1972, 1979)