Danielle Palardy Roger Bruiducoeur

Choral music rarely gets let out of the box these days. One gets the odd recording of vocal work that has some interesting directions, but rarely does one get such a tour de force as is presented on this disc. Roger, who is no stranger to text-based work, has created a tale of a man at the end of his life, frightened and half-crazed, attended by a female witness describing his state and the choir and soloists as the society that surround him. The piece itself is composed for 13-piece choir, two soloists, two narrators and two percussionists. A number of things provided me with ways into this work. The repetitive nature of the text brought Steve Reich and Meredith Monk into the picture and the music is somewhat reminiscent of Berio or Lygeti, but more to the point; a lot of it reminded me of what a Diamanda Galas solo might sound like if it was arranged for multiple voices. There are interludes where the soloists improvise like a pack of rabid dogs, as well as beautifully stark ensemble sections that rise and fall like grey cloud. The two percussionists provide segues and accompaniments that provide a near perfect counterpoint to the voices. Bruiducoeur is a strong and challenging work. (Ambiances Magnétiques)