Written straight from the heart, Vivier’s songs give voice to his longing for love and reveal the unparalleled brilliance of his musical imagination.
The composer lived a colourful and often bizarre life before he was tragically murdered in Paris in 1983, a year after moving to the city from his native Montréal.
As a musician, Vivier knew few boundaries. He was a disciple of Stockhausen whose own works would make his avant-garde teacher’s sound dated. They combine languages, traditions and schools, reflect his cosmopolitan travels and make strange, unusual demands of their performers.
Vivier is slowly being recognised in his native Canada and beyond as the maverick genius he was. His works were, according to his biographer Bob Gilmore, a way of ‘confronting loneliness, darkness, terror; of negotiating a relationship with God; of voicing an insatiable longing for acceptance and love.’
Forming part of a special focus on the music of Claude Vivier, Southbank Centre is pleased to present a selection of the composer’s most sincere and blazingly original songs for both voice and percussion. This is music that sings of love, religion, the universe and the central questions of life.
The performance concludes with the world premiere of Christopher Mayo’s personal homage to Vivier, an artist truly ahead of his time.