Pierre Bourque Saxophone Quartet/Quatuor de saxophones Pierre-Bourque
Pierre Bourque Saxophone Quartet/Quatuor de saxophones Pierre-Bourque. Founded in Quebec City in 1963 by the soprano saxophonist Pierre Bourque and three of his pupils at the CMQ - Claude Brisson, alto; Rémi Ménard, tenor (replaced by Jacques Larocque in 1971); and Jean Bouchard, baritone. The quartet made its debut in 1964 in Quebec City and subsequently played in other Canadian towns, giving more than150 concerts 1966-71 for the JMC (YMC). It performed abroad through exchange programs, touring 1970-1 in France, in 1972 in Sweden, and in 1973 in the USA, and it was the Quebec delegate to the fifth Biennale of Bordeaux (1972), where it won a silver medal. It enjoyed a particular success in France, where its members were described as 'four virtuosi... playing in the purest spirit of chamber music' (Carrefour, 31 Mar 1971). In 1973 the ensemble took part in a Canadian evening at the ORTF along with the duo pianists Bouchard and Morisset and the soprano Louise Lebrun under the auspices of the Communauté des radios publiques de langue française. After 1975, because of the various teaching duties of its members, the quartet restricted its activities mainly to the province of Quebec.
The quartet's repertoire ranges from transcriptions of classical and romantic works to original contemporary pieces, and it has given the premieres of several works by Quebec composers, notably Tempo I (1967) by Marc Fortier, Saxologie (1972) and Phonie M.A. (1976) by Pierre Genest, Saxi-Phonie-Saties (1972) by Alexander Brott, Chemins (1977) by Pierick Houdy, Suite (1983) by Denis Bédard, Le Petit Chaperon rouge (1984) by Marc Gagné, and Divertimento (1988) by Jean-Clément Isabelle. In 1969 it recorded works by Absil, Dubois, Fiala, and Francaix on Jeunesses musicales 20 Canada (RCI 279/RCA LSC-3141); the Fiala work was reissued on 5-ACM 27.