André Mathieu – Le Concerto de Québec
W h i t e et W h i t e
A few words concerning the choices that guided the making of our sculpture in homage to André Mathieu and his Concerto de Québec.
Because it was of prime importance to André Mathieu to be seen as a composer first and foremost and then as a pianist, this seemed a fine approach to creating this sculpture dedicated to one of his most important compositions.
As Le Concerto de Québec is a dialogue between piano and orchestra, on the front of the sculpture we find a large fragment of a piano, with the orchestra unfolding out from it as we move around the sculpture. The base of the sculpture is an amalgam of instruments representing every family of instrument in Le Concerto de Québec. They are all there: the French horn, cello, tuba, trumpet, oboe, trombone, viola, bassoon, piccolo, clarinet, kettle
drum and string bass!
André Mathieu composed Le Concerto de Québec at the age of thirteen, in the springtime of his life, giving us the idea of creating a garden out of the musical instruments in this concerto to evoke André's fervour and youth at this glorious time when he was at the
height of his fame.
In addition, this garden is a reminder that André Mathieu celebrated nature in his many other compositions, whose titles include Les Vagues ("Waves"), Les Mouettes ("The Gulls"), Printemps canadien ("Canadian Springtime"), Été canadien ("Canadian Summer"), Les Abeilles piquantes ("Stinging Bees"), La Libellule ("Dragonfly") and several others. Throughout our sculpture there are nods in reference to these compositions in which nature has a place of honour. Here one can discover flower buds and corolla, large leaves, gulls, waves, a stream of water: a garden full of life and hope, both calm and animated, set in motion by the vertical arches of the musical instruments and the vitality created by their abundance. This garden is in André Mathieu's own image, at the height of his fame, with wonderful opportunities stretching out before him at this stage of his life until the Second World War came to cast a tragic shadow on his dreams.
The bust of André Mathieu sitting atop this garden depicts him halfway through his too-short life, when he was around twenty years old. At that age he had reached physical, intellectual and musical maturity. It was the peak of his life as an artist, never to be surpassed. He is suspended as if in a sate of equilibrium, at the crossroads between his glorious past and his uncertain future. The eloquence of his profound and melancholy gaze speaks for itself.
Creating André's portrait required considerable research into photographic and archival documents. We preserved what was unchanging about his face over the years. What is particularly striking about André Mathieu, this very handsome man, is the intensity of his gaze, his luxuriant hair and his full lips, but what we wanted to convey above all was the sort of feelingful wave ceaselessly emanating from him.
The sculpture André Mathieu et Le Concerto de Québec invites you to discover this brilliant and passionate man and to let your dreams soar with him in this musical garden.