Anthems and Minstrel Shows: The Life and Times of Calixa by Brian Christopher Thompson

By Brian Christopher Thompson

Calixa Lavallée, the composer of “O Canada,” was once the 1st Canadian-born musician to accomplish a world acceptance. whereas essentially remembered for the nationwide anthem, Lavallée and his paintings prolonged way past Canada, and he performed a large number of roles in North American tune as a composer, conductor, administrator, instrumentalist, educator, and critic.

In Anthems and Minstrel exhibits, Brian Thompson analyzes Lavallée’s tune, letters, and released writings, in addition to newspapers and tune magazines of the time, to supply an in depth account of musical lifestyles in nineteenth-century North the US and the connection among tune and state. Leaving Quebec at age 16, Lavallée travelled broadly for a decade as musical director of a minstrel troupe, and spent a yr as a bandsman within the Union military. Later, as a performer and conductor, he equipped a repertoire that ready audiences for the intellectually difficult tune of ecu composers and new song via his US contemporaries. His personal tune prolonged from nationwide songs to comedian operas, and instrumental track, as he shifted among the worlds of classical and renowned song.

Previously portrayed as a humble French Canadian pressured into exile via lack of information and injustice, Lavallée emerges right here as bold, radical, bohemian, and entirely engaged with the musical, social, and political currents of his time. whereas nationalism and nation-building are important to this tale, Anthems and Minstrel indicates asks to which kingdom – or countries – Lavallée and “O Canada” quite belong.

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