Requiem for Fourteen Roses

by Elise Letourneau

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    This is a double-CD. As a bonus, you will also receive a PDF file of the concert program from the world-premiere. "Requiem for Fourteen Roses" has been short-listed for the 2015 American Prize in choral composition.

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This double-CD represents most of the music from "Requiem for Fourteen Roses", a concert-length work for choir, vocal soloist, and 8-piece chamber ensemble. The work was composed by Elise Letourneau to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre of December 6, 1989 in Montreal QC and to remember the young women who were lost that day.

The work itself features a partnership of classical and jazz sensibilities, and the intertwining of texts in English, French, and Latin. The concert premiere featured a blend of professional and community musicians, received wonderful community support to help bring the work to fruition, and was presented to a capacity audience.

Disc 1, Choral & Vocal Selections, was recorded live at the world-premiere in Ottawa ON on December 6, 2014 - twenty-five years to the day after the tragedy occurred.

Disc 2, The Fourteen Miniatures, was recorded by the composer at Morning Anthem Studio. The pieces are presented here as piano works, but they are designed to work with varying instrumentations.

Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Maryse Laganière
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michèle Richard
Annie St-Arneault
Annie Turcotte
Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz

we remember you...
nous nous souvenons de toi...

December 6, 1989


released November 13, 2015

For CD#1

Choir: Aram Adjemian, Mariam Al-Naser, Penny Annand, Bethany Armstrong, Chris Armstrong, Laura Buckland, Lee Carter, Philip Cartwright, Sandra Clarke, Marjorie Cooper, Marie Delorme, Patrick Denison, Errol Fletcher, Normand Glaude, David Hudson, Diane Jesmer, Pam Ladouceur, Tim Lash, Barbara Lyon, Jane MacDonald, Sylvie Marcil, Lynn McGuigan, Ross Mickelson, Kieran Milne, Mark Mitchell, Fauzya Moore, Karen Moore, April Norris, Joanne O’Connor, Kathleen O’Leary, Clare Pearson, Mary-Ellen Pitts, Katy Quinn, Sylvie Rimbach, Diane Ross, Janet Siltanen, Mike Steinberg, Rebecca Taylor, Anna Torgerson, Bill Tyson, Marc-André Veselovsky

Composer: Elise Letourneau
Conductor: Rachel Beausoleil
Vocal Soloist: Sienna Dahlen
Additional vocalists: Rachel Beausoleil, Elise Letourneau
Flute: Mike Tremblay
Cello: Joan Harrison
Piano: Elise Letourneau (3-14), Mark Ferguson (1-2)
Double Bass: John Geggie
Flugelhorn: Nicholas Dyson, Roberta Archibald
Trombone: Mark Ferguson, Ryan Purchase
Stage Manager: Carlo Verdicchio

Producers: Normand Glaude & Elise Letourneau
Concert Recording: Wayne Hawthorne
Mixing & Mastering: Normand Glaude - Morning Anthem studio
CD jacket design & layout: Marilee Townsend-Alcorn
Back cover photo: Claude Brazeau


For CD#2

Piano: Elise Letourneau
Engineer: Normand Glaude
Recorded at Morning Anthem Studio, Cumberland ON



all rights reserved


Elise Letourneau Ottawa, Ontario

Elise Letourneau is a multiple award-winning composer and an accomplished performer, arranger, and educator. With her background in classical, jazz, and contemporary styles, Elise brings a varied palette of sound and experience to her music. An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, her music has been performed across internationally. Elise is a graduate of Berklee College of Music. ... more

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Track Name: Introit
[sung in Latin]
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

(Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.)
Track Name: The Remembering
Geneviève Bergeron

Hélène Colgan

Nathalie Croteau

Barbara Daigneault

Anne-Marie Edward

Maud Haviernick

Maryse Laganière

Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay

Sonia Pelletier

Michèle Richard

Annie St-Arneault

Annie Turcotte

Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz
We remember you...
Nous nous souvenons de toi...

Track Name: Kyrie Eleison
[sung in Greek]
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

(Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Track Name: The Day Is No More
The day is no more,
the shadow is upon the earth.
It is time that I go to the stream
to fill my pitcher.

The evening air is eager
with the sad music of the water.
Ah, it calls me out into the dusk.
In the lonely lane there is no passer-by,
the wind is up,
the ripples are rampant in the river.

I know not if I shall come back home.
I know not whom I shall chance to meet.
There at the fording in the little boat
the unknown man plays upon his lute.
Track Name: If the Day is Done
If the day is done, 
if birds sing no more, 
if the wind has flagged tired, 
then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, 
even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk. 

From the traveler, 
whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended, 
whose garment is torn and dust-laden, 
whose strength is exhausted, 
remove shame and poverty, 
and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.
Track Name: The Waterwheel
Stay together, friends.
Don’t scatter and sleep.
Our friendship is made
of being awake.
The waterwheel accepts water
and turns and gives it away, weeping.
That way it stays in the garden,
whereas another roundness rolls
through a dry riverbed looking
for what it thinks it wants.
Stay here, quivering with each moment
like a drop of mercury.
Track Name: This is Nothing But Thy Love
YES, I know, this is nothing but thy love, O beloved of my heart-this golden light that dances upon the leaves, these idle clouds sailing across the sky, this passing breeze leaving its coolness upon my forehead.

The morning light has flooded my eyes-this is thy message to my heart. Thy face is bent from above, thy eyes look down on my eyes, and my heart has touched thy feet.
Track Name: Sanctus & Benedictus
[sung in Latin & French]
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth;
pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Saint, Saint, Saint, Saint le Seigneur, Dieu de l’Univers!
Le ciel et la terre sont remplis de ta Gloire.
Bénit soit celui qui vient a nom du Seigneur.

(Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.)
Track Name: Agneau de Dieu
[sung in French, English, and Latin]

Agneau de Dieu, qui enlèves le péché du monde, donne-leur le repos, donne-leur le repos éternel.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant them rest, grant them eternal rest.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona ei requiem, dona eis requiem sempiternam.
Track Name: Pie Jesu
[sung in Latin and French]

Pie Iesu Domine, dona eis requiem. Dona eis requiem sempiternam.
Pieux Jésus Seigneur, donne-leur le repos. Donne-leur le repos éternal.

(Merciful Lord Jesus, grant them rest; grant them eternal rest.)
Track Name: Psaume 23
[sung in French]

Le Seigneur est mon berger: je ne manque de rien. Sur de prés d’herbe fraîche, il me fait reposer. Il me mène vers les eaux tranquilles et me fait revivre; il me conduit par le juste chemin pour l’honneur de son nom. Si je traverse les ravins de la mort, je ne crains aucun mal, car tu es avec moi; ton bâton me guide et me rassure. Tu prépares la table pour moi devant mes ennemis; tu répands le parfum sur ma tête, ma coupe est débordante. Grâce et bonheur m’accompagnent tous les jours de ma vie; j’habiterai la maison du Seigneur pour la durée de mes jours.

(The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.)
Track Name: In Paradisum
[sung in Latin and French]

In paradisum deducant te Angeli: in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, et perducant te in civitatem Ierusalem. Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.
Que les Anges te conduisent au paradis, que les Martyrs t’accueillent à ton arrivée, et t’introduisent dans la Jérusalem du ciel.

(May Angels lead you into paradise; may the Martyrs receive you at your coming and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May a choir of Angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.)
Track Name: The Seed Market
Can you find another market like this?
Where, with your one rose
you can buy hundreds of rose gardens?
Where, for one seed get a whole wilderness?
For one weak breath, the divine wind?
You've been fearful of being absorbed in the ground,
or drawn up by the air.
Now, your waterbead lets go
and drops into the ocean, where it came from.
It no longer has the form it had, but it's still water
The essence is the same.
This giving up is not a repenting.
It's a deep honoring of yourself.
When the ocean comes to you as a lover,
marry at once, quickly, for God's sake!
Don't postpone it! Existence has no better gift. 
No amount of searching will find this. 
A perfect falcon, for no reason
has landed on your shoulder, and become yours.
Track Name: What Divine Drink Wouldst Thou Have, My God?
What divine drink wouldst thou have, my God,
from this overflowing cup of my life?

My poet, is it thy delight
to see thy creation through my eyes
and to stand at the portals of my ears silently
to listen to thine own eternal harmony?

Thy world is weaving words in my mind
and thy joy is adding music to them.
Thou givest thyself to me in love
and then feelest
thine own entire sweetness in me.