Three Métis Songs of Saskatchewan was written for Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester and premiered by her in 1975. The three Métis songs can be found in their original form in Barbara Cass-Beggs’ 1967 publication Seven Métis Songs of Saskatchewan.
Godfrey Ridout was one of Canada’s most eloquent and gifted champions of musical conservatism. His orchestral accompaniment to these four folk songs is by turns restrained, graceful, and, in the last number in the set, appropriately witty.
The inspiration for Tableau was provided by a brooding Arctic landscape of ice and snow that hung in the foyer of the Winnipeg School of Art when Freedman was a student there. Although Tableau is based on a twelve-tone row, John Beckwith has noted that it soon abandons the strictures of serialism to evoke « the nostalgia and swaying lyricism of the blues. »
Vancouver composer Jean Coulthard wrote Canada Mosaic in 1974 for a planned tour of China by the Vancouver Symphony. Ironically the tour to China was cancelled, so the orchestra went to Japan instead, where Canada Mosaic was given its premiere. This recording presents four of the suite’s seven movements.
Plateaus represents a musical journey home for Phil Nimmons, as it was inspired by the great plateaus of the Cariboo region of south central B.C. near the composer’s native city of Kamloops.
1-3. Three Métis Songs of Saskatchewan
4-7. Folk Songs of Eastern Canada
8. Tableau for String Orchestra
9-12. Introduction and Three Folk Songs
13. Plateaus (Cariboo Country Tone Poem)