By Brian Christopher Thompson
In Anthems and Minstrel indicates, Brian Thompson analyzes Lavallée’s track, letters, and released writings, in addition to newspapers and track magazines of the time, to supply a close account of musical existence in nineteenth-century North the US and the connection among tune and kingdom. Leaving Quebec at age 16, Lavallée travelled extensively for a decade as musical director of a minstrel troupe, and spent a yr as a bandsman within the Union military. Later, as a performer and conductor, he equipped a repertoire that ready audiences for the intellectually difficult song of ecu composers and new song by means of his US contemporaries. His personal track prolonged from nationwide songs to comedian operas, and instrumental song, as he shifted among the worlds of classical and well known song.
Previously portrayed as a humble French Canadian pressured into exile through lack of awareness and injustice, Lavallée emerges right here as bold, radical, bohemian, and completely engaged with the musical, social, and political currents of his time. whereas nationalism and nation-building are valuable to this tale, Anthems and Minstrel indicates asks to which country – or countries – Lavallée and “O Canada” fairly belong.
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Anthems and Minstrel Shows: The Life and Times of Calixa Lavallée, 1842-1891 by Brian Christopher Thompson