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Mother Marie-Rose inspires the composer Airat Ichmouratov

At the opening of its 32nd season, the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra (OSDL) presented the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 "On the Ruins of an Old Fortified Castle", created by the composer Airat Ichmouratov, an “adopted” long-time  resident of Longueuil. This symphony pays tribute to both Charles II Le Moyne of Longueuil and Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

The first movement of this creation by the Russian born composer is a musical portrait of the eldest son of the founder of Longueuil. "At first, the timpani and the bass drum mimic the distant sound of the war drums of the indigenous peoples after which a theme, with horns playing, conjures up the image of the baron. Further on, Ichmuratov identifies himself with the heroes.”  Then, added to this are “his own astounding memories as an immigrant ... "*

A joyful ‘scherzo’ (vigorous, playful composition) follows in the second movement. Here, the composer describes Longueuil as it is today, with its celebrations, its active lifestyle in which children’s games, the noise of the traffic and the night life are intermingled. 

Gentleness and strength of character

With the Adagio maestoso, Airat Ichmouratov brings us back to the 19th century. He pays tribute to “Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, another great figure in Longueuil’s history.” * Born Eulalie Durocher (1811-1849), Mother Marie-Rose founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1843.

“The Adagio reflects this Sister’s gentleness as well as her strength of character and her humble lifestyle in the convent. In this portrait, Ichmouratov superimposes a portrait of his own mother, who accidentally disappeared while he was working on this movement."*

This symphony’s finale takes us back to the events mentioned above: "celebrations, battles, and moments of nostalgia, ending with a celebration of contemporary life in Longueuil which is presently joyful and peaceful.”*

This world premiere took place as part of the opening concert of the 32nd season of the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil. With the aim of highlighting the 360th anniversary of the City of Longueuil, Marc David, artistic director and principal conductor, gathered some of Longueuil's great performers.

In addition to the work of the composer Airat Ichmouratov, presented in the last part of this concert, we find in the opening act the Fantaisie sur L’Heptade by Neil Chotem, inspired by the mythical album of Serge Fiori and Harmonium. André Moisan followed with his remarkable Clarinet Concerto by Mozart.

A world-renowned composer

Note that the composer Airat Ichmouratov studied clarinet before obtaining his diploma in 1996. Following several tours in Europe, he moved to Montreal in 1998 where, in 2005, he obtained a master's degree and then a doctorate in conducting from the Université de Montréal. He was Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre Les Violons du Roy and Resident Conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec before joining the Klezmer Kleztory Band. He demonstrates his many talents, playing the clarinet, and composing and performing arrangements. He has toured extensively throughout the world with this group, and his music is performed by many ensembles and musicians in a number of countries. He has been Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Center since 2010.

*Program from the opening concert of the OSD, September 28, 2017

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