Alexis Contant Canada Joseph Pierre Alexis Contant (12 November 1858 - 28 November 1918) was a Canadian composer, organist, pianist, and music educator. The first notable Canadian composer to be entirely trained in his native country, he stated "I write not for glory but rather to satisfy an irresistible need.' Although he had considerable training as a pianist, his knowledge of musical composition was largely self-taught, although not by choice as his life afforded him little opportunity to find suitable teachers. Much of his time was spent dedicated towards teaching, family, and work as a church organist, and his compositional output was minimal before 1900. As his children grew older, he was able to devote more time to composition and therefore his later life was his most productive. A stroke in 1914 virtually ended his activity as a composer.
Constant's compositional output includes several symphonic works and works for chorus and orchestra, works for chorus with organ accompaniment, a small body of chamber music, and several pieces for solo piano and solo organ. His works were published in Paris by Hamelle, Haussman, and L. Grus and in Montreal by Archambault, Beauchemin, Joseph-Émile Bélair, A.J. Boucher, L. Cardinal, Édition Belgo-Canadienne, and J.-G. Yon and in Le Passe-Temps. The Canadian Encyclopedia states that, 'Contant was a pioneer whose vision was on a large scale, and although the results of his efforts do not equal his ambitions, he displays a sincerity and honesty worthy of admiration.'
One of Contant's first pieces to be widely played in both Canada and Europe was La Lyre enchantée (1875), a 'fantaisie-nocturne' for piano that is reminiscent of Chopin. His third mass had a very positive reception at its premiere on 1 February 1903 at the Monument national in a performance conducted by Edmond Hardy. The work greatly furthered his reputation as a composer. Also premiered at the Monument-National was his Caïn on 12 November 1905, one of the first oratorios written by a Canadian composer. He wrote a second oratorio, Les Deux Âmes, which was composed between 1905 and 1909 but did not premiere until 1913. His Trio for violin, cello and piano is the most often performed of his major works. In 1914 he suffered a paralytic stroke which severely limited his mobility. After the stroke he composed only one more song, Sur Un Crucifix to a poem by Albert Lozeau. (Hide extended text) ... (Read all) Source : Wikipedia