Before presenting a concert marked by calmness and tranquillity, Madeleine Joly, Musical Director of the Octuor Gouzes de Joliette, began by saying, “I just want to wish you a Lent filled with great interior joy.”
“Close your door, for the Lord loves to speak to your heart in silence ... Perfume yourself, says the prophet, for it is to a feast that God is calling you.” Continuing her talk, Mrs. Joly set the tone by adding, "For me, that's what Lent is: a time of great interior celebration, a time for strengthening our covenant...”
Planned to complement the four-day retreat preached by Fr. Michel Hébert, Eudist, the previous week at Maison Jésus-Marie, this concert was greatly appreciated by the attentive and recollected audience. "Mrs. Joly's many years of theological and biblical studies have contributed to her being a choirmaster who incites great spiritual joy," said Sister Maryse Moisan, who was responsible for this activity.
The recital of fifteen sacred songs by the composer André Gouzes, was presented in two parts separated by a short intermission. Among the hymns that were heard were: “Vous tous qui avez soif”, “Ouvre mes yeux, Seigneur Jésus”, “Tu nous rassasies de bonheur en ta maison” and concluded with “Bénis sois-tu, Seigneur Jésus, toi, notre Pâque éternelle.” The choir also benefitted from their talented accompanist, Lise Boucher.
We are reminded that André Gouzes is recognized as a founder of a renewal of liturgical music. This French Dominican priest and musician is the prolific author of many Christian liturgical hymns. "He is one of the few contemporary composers to combine harmonic tradition and contemporary language," says Wikipedia. He created a liturgical collection of more than 3000 pages in French, entitled "Liturgie chorale du Peuple de Dieu” (Liturgy of the People of God), which has now been translated into many languages.
In short, this concert centered on interiority, created an atmosphere of recollection and touched the hearts of the audience. What a beautiful way to start Lent 2017.