Orchestrated to the hilt, ‘Dompierre’ reveals the endless possibilities of symphonic rock from Francois Dompierre, steeped in Quebec culture, the music is truly stunning with a wide range of styles.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Francois Dompierre
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Francois Dompierre – piano, clavinet, organ * Gilles Hainault – piano * Ronn Dann – steel guitar * Claude Garden – harmonica * Dorothy Masella – harp * Jean Laurendeau – wave sounds * Rahul Mahadeo – zither, tablas * Paul Baillargeon – synthesizer * Anne Little – flute * Robert Leroux – percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Overture Eclair * 02 Labyrinthe En La * 03 La Chasse- Galerie * 04 Ballade Pour Violaine * 05 Claustrophobeat * 06 Ragtime Pour Plus Tard * 07 Le Chant Du Soleil D’Hiver * 08 Vent D’est * 09 Vent D’Ouest (Une Idee De Sylvain Dompierre) * 10 Saute-Mouton * 11 Pour Elle Toute Seule * 12 Melomagie * 13 Bye Bye
WEBLINKS: Site Link
A respected and award winning Ottawa born composer whose work has been primarily based in Quebec through classical composition and film scores. All very highbrow and expectedly most of Francois Dompierre’s recorded work of will be of little interest to Glory Daze readers with the notable exception of three progressive rock albums he trickled out between 1974 and 1982 to critical acclaim.
Of these albums I personally own two, ‘Hors-d’oeuvres’ commissioned for the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal is a veritable feast for connoisseurs of instrumental symphonic rock. It includes a charming inside sleeve which features some of the hotel’s delectable kitchen recipes and this 1975 three-sided jewel ‘Dompierre’ which is one of the finest French Canadian progressive albums I’ve had the pleasure to hear.
Orchestrated to the hilt, ‘Dompierre’ reveals the endless possibilities of symphonic rock and it’s just one of just a handful of albums the composer actually played on. Steeped in Quebec culture, the music is truly stunning with a wide range of styles touching on jazz, ragtime, psychedelic pop, world, classical and choral music in a cinematic compositional style that’s both panoramic and devastatingly beautiful.
A couple references can be pointed at Camel and Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s prog rock tour-de-force ‘Variations’, but this is a set of music where comparisons rarely apply. I do have a few favourites including the dynamic and richly diverse ‘Labyrinthe En La’ (In the Labyrinth) as well as ‘La Chasse – Galerie’ (The Hunt – Gallery) and am especially fond of side B which moves between Opus Avantra styled avant-prog, Indian classical, spy music and Celtic pop.
‘Dompierre’ is a remarkable listening adventure and special mention for side four which isn’t playable at all but is beautifully etched with whimsical doodles and song titles making for an artful package I whole-heartily recommend without a second thought.
‘De l’onde.. l’infini’ from 1974 I’ve never seen or heard but as you can imagine with comparisons to Belgian innovators Julverne and the aforementioned Italian’s Opus Avantra, the record’s high on my prog want list. Dompierre is still alive, well and creating music although his progressive rock days are long behind him.
Francois Dompierre on Video