Mountains

Mountains. As an inspiration for Canadian music, mountains have enjoyed limited popularity. Not unexpectedly the mountains most often referred to are the Rockies of Alberta and British Columbia.

Mountains

Mountains. As an inspiration for Canadian music, mountains have enjoyed limited popularity. Not unexpectedly the mountains most often referred to are the Rockies of Alberta and British Columbia. However the earliest known compositions about mountains, The Royal Mountain Waltzes (1866) by Moritz Relle, were inspired by Mount Royal (Montreal), as was J.-Amédée Roy's 'reverie' Dans les Sentiers du Mont Royal (ca 1914). French-Canadian folkdance recordings made in the 1920s and 1930s include Reel des Laurentides (accordionist Tommy Duchesne), Reel des montagnes (fiddler Joseph Allard and accordionist Tommy Duchesne), Quadrille Mont-Laurier (harmonica player Henri Lacroix), Quadrille des Laurentides (fiddler Isidore Soucy), and March Mont Saint-Louis (Joseph Latour and Alfred Montmarquette, both accordionists).

Among folksongs is the 'Ballad of Frank Slide,' which refers to Turtle Mountain, BC (see Disaster songs). Pop songs include Stu Davis' 'Black Mountain Rag' and 'When the Snowbirds Cross the Rockies' and Ray Calder's 'Blue Laurentian Moon.' The country song 'Blue Canadian Rockies' (Berandol 1960) was written by the US singer Cindy Walker and has been recorded over 25 times, eg, by Gene Autry, Mac Beattie, the Canadian Sweethearts (see Lucille Starr), Wilf Carter, and Scotty Stevenson. Laura Vinson's country songs 'Sweet Mountain Music' and 'Rocky Mountain Skyline' were hits in 1979 and 1980 respectively, and Ian Tyson's 'Springtime in the Rockies' appeared in 1991.

Concert works include Edmund Assaly's Mount Royal Fantasy (1948, piano and orchestra), Pierre Brabant's Caprice Laurentian (1945, piano), Morley Calvert's Suite from the Monteregian Hills (1962, brass quintet), Stephen Chatman's 'Mountains' (1986, from Due North for choir; text by the composer), Harry Freedman's 'Blue Mountain' (1958, the first movement from Images for orchestra; inspired by the Lawren Harris painting), Clifford Higgin's Rocky Mountains (string orchestra), Robert McMullin's Sketches from the Rocky Mountains (1948, orchestra), François Morel's Le Mythe de la Roche percée (1961, wind and percussion), Phil Nimmons' Plateaus 'Cariboo Country Tone Poem' (1985, orchestra), Barbara Pentland's 'Mountains' (1942-5, from Song Cycle; text by Anne Marriott), and Norman Symonds' 'Mist and Mountain' (1971, the second movement from Three Atmospheres for orchestra).

The major concert work is Claude Champagne's Altitude (1959), a three-part orchestral-choral suite ('The Primitive Age,' 'Meditations,' and 'The Modern Age'), which depicts an imaginary journey through the Rockies. These same mountains inspired 'Land of the Misty Giants' in Oscar Peterson's Canadiana Suite.

Mount Manny in New Brunswick's Historians' Range is named after the folksong collector Louise Manny, Barbeau Peak in the Canadian Arctic after the collector Marius Barbeau, and Mont Arthur LeBlanc in Quebec after the violinist.