The Ottawa-born musician will turn 80 on July 1. It has flowed a lot under the bridges since the publication of his first LP in 1964. Having first made a name for himself as a pianist, François Dompierre has gone down in history above all as a composer of film music, for directors like Denys Arcand, Francis Mankiewicz, Jean Beaudin, Léa Pool and Claude Fournier, in addition to collaborations with many popular singers such as Félix Leclerc, Renée Claude, Louise Forestier, Monique Leyrac and Pauline Julien.
The music appearing on the disc, which today we would gladly classify in the “neoclassical” category (English speakers speak more judiciously of easy listening), is of a simplicity that is only apparent. Because Dompierre has earned all his chevrons in “scholarly” music, having studied writing and composition at the Montreal Conservatory with Françoise Aubut and Clermont Pépin. Some of his works have been taken up by Deutsche Grammophon or as compulsory pieces during competitions.
The influences are diverse: romanticism, impressionism, jazz, folklore… The pianist appears there as a chameleon able to mold himself to each of the styles with an always personal language.
Recorded at Domaine Forget, the album, entirely pianistic (some pieces are arrangements), sometimes takes advantage of the composer in a two-piano formula. Moviegoers will recognize pieces from The Decline of the American Empire, The Passion of Augustine and The Odyssey of Alice Tremblay. Lovers of Quebec songs will also get their money’s worth. Other pieces testify to friendships with the composer Gilles Tremblay or the violinist Angèle Dubeau.
A contrasting album, testifying to a flawless melodic and harmonic inspiration, which can be listened to with a smile on your face.