Catherine Major and the OSQ: the vertigo of drunkenness

The intensity and poetic drunkenness of Catherine Major’s musical universe are increased when she joins the Orchester symphonique de Québec. Worn by the arrangements of Antoine Gratton and supported by Ariane Moffatt for several songs, the musician made us go through the storms and stunned us with desire in a spectacle of exhilarating beauty.
C ive years after his first adventure with the SOQ Catherine Major is back up on stage with new parts, never presented an album still in gestation. “It will be a whole new journey, an evening filled with moments of friendship, moments of love,” she announced in her hushed voice. Pregnant with a fourth child, the fiery girl had to postpone the release of her next album, so that the pieces that reach our ears for the first time are already adorned with sumptuous arrangements of strings, copper and percussion.

These will be paintings, Tableau pour ma maucha , Tableau glace (a moving tribute to her friend Lucie, who succumbed to cancer this winter), Tableau volcano or Tableau de louve , where “oh” thrown at the moon alongside rhythmic expirations and Antoine Gratton’s electronic beats .

Major’s all-monochrome voice brings the texts signed by his spouse and accomplice Jeff Morand to orbit. We tasted all the poetic brilliance and sensuality. When the presence and the voice of Ariane Moffatt were added to the equation, as for the languorous You or for Sur a prelude of Bach, a very nice tribute to Maurane, we wanted the song to stretch until at the end of the world.

The concert had a breath and a soul that had nothing to envy to a well-considered and staged solo show. The orchestra, led by a delightful and smiling Fabien Gabel, very attentive to the only “pop” artist whose orchestral adventures he accepts, opened the evening with Pavane by Gabriel Fauré. Arvo Part’s Benjamin Britten’s Cantus in memoriam was naturally integrated into the program, at the request of Major, who savored the piece on stage.

François Dompierre came to direct Le Feu , whose arrangements he had offered to his niece upon the return of the intermission.

All along, the orchestra settled naturally on the piano, mastered with ease by Major (and by Moffatt for the song Pour toi ) and the voices. From the harp to the bass drum, the spectrum of sounds was wide, the effects well measured and the interpretation steeped in emotions. For Drunk Piano , at the end of the race, the OSQ dragged us into a big carousel, a great sensation to crown the exceptional evening we had just experienced.

The show, seen Thursday night, will be presented again Friday at 20h at the Grand Théâtre de Québec.

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