Terre-Neuve (Newfoundland)

Program Notes:

Marie-Claire was commissioned to write the original SATB work to be sung by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada – yes, orchestra! If you have not had the opportunity to experience the work of this fine ensemble, I encourage you to note when they next come to town. This is an annual symphonic training program bridging the gap between study and career for Canadian classical instrumentalists. I believe that they require the musicians to also sing one piece each summer, and how great that in 2018 it was a new Canadian work of the power you will experience in Terre-Neuve. Most of us in Elektra were on the trip to Newfoundland in the summer of 2018, so the rugged terrain and jagged sea cliffs are fresh in our minds. The opening instructions on the score say “powerfully”.

Conductor Notes:

SSAA a cappella

This energetic piece in French has a sturdy and effective sound, with rhythmic interplay between the voices that is fairly easily achieved. A powerhouse including some sound effects (stomping, clapping) where the line about “crackling ice” comes. We used this to close a concert.

Composer / Arranger Notes:

Terre-Neuve is a love-letter to the powerful geology that is the island of Newfoundland and its ancient mysteries.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.




Poem: by Annick Perrot-Bishop

éclaboussée du cri d’un soleil
aux couleurs d’océan
de roc
fauve la falaise se brise craquements de glace
goût frais de neige qui fait trembler la mémoire ensevelie
se mêle de vent
s’enroule au sel d’une joie


English translation: Neil B. Bishop.

splattered with shrieks of sun
with colours of ocean and
rust-red the cliff splits
crackling ice
a fresh taste of shivering snow stirs a shrouded memory
mingles with the wind
spirals vibrant with the salt of a joy New found