Napoléon Crépault | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Napoléon Crépault

Napoléon Crépault. Organist, pianist, choirmaster, composer, (born 16 December 1848 in Kamouraska, QC; died 28 September 1906 in Quebec City, QC). Lauréat (AMQ) 1871.

He began to study piano and solfège in 1858 at the Collège de Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and organ with Antoine Dessane and harmony with Ernest Gagnon in Quebec City in 1865. He was appointed organist at Notre-Dame de Lévis in 1873. In 1876 he began teaching in the parish of St-Roch, Quebec City, replacing Nazaire LeVasseur as parish organist in 1881. As a result of knee injuries he gave up the organ in 1883, devoting himself thereafter to composition, but remaining choirmaster at St-Roch, where his Mass in G (1882) and his oratorio La Communion des saints were performed. He also composed a cantata on a text by Pamphile Lemay. Several of his works were published in Quebec by A. Lavigne and R. Morgan, including La Ruche harmonieuse, a volume of about 40 songs, and Les Joies du foyer, some 30 pieces for piano. Three of his songs have been published in CMH (vol 7). In 1905, with the help of his son Léonce and of Ernest and Gustave Gagnon, Crépault established a branch of the Dominion College of Music in Quebec City. His son Léonce (born 3 November 1880 in St-Roch, QC; died 17 May 1954 in Quebec City) was organist-choirmaster 1899-1919 at St-Roch, succeeding Philéas Roy. He gave up that position to enter the music and instrument selling trade, but later resumed his vocation as organist at St-Dominique Church, then at the Jesuits' Chapel, and finally at St-Patrice Church.