Denis Gougeon completed a master’s degree in composition under Serge Garant at the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal. Pursuing a very active career as a composer, he has received numerous commissions from ensembles and performers throughout Canada, such as the Vancouver New Music Society, the Répercussion ensemble, Magnetic Band in Vancouver, soprano Marie-Danielle Parent and the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, the Association des Orchestres de Jeunes du Québec, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, flutist Lise Daoust, Ondes Martenot performer Jean Laurendeau, the Rencontres Musicales de Sorèze (France), the Esprit Orchestra in Toronto, the Canadian Chamber Players, the Canadian Music Competitions, New Music America, SDRS Culture and the Corporation of the Montreal 350th anniversary celebrations, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and the Percussion de Strasbourg, the Ensemble Clavivent, etc.
One of the leading composers of his generation, Denis Gougeon is also among the few in Canada who devote themselves entirely to composition. At once accessible, dynamic, forceful and highly melodic, his music has been very well received by the public and the press in North and South America as well as in Europe. Denis Gougeon is particularly fond of writing with performers whom he considers marvellous "ambassadors".
Quatre inventions (1991)
for saxophone quartet
Four Inventions, for saxophone quartet, is a work written in one, two, three and four voices. The piece in one voice is composed of a single melody which is passed from one instrument to another. The melodic line is played by two, three or four saxophones, creating a rhythmic articulation based on the differences in timbral densities. The second invention, though only in 2 voices, suggests a harmonic progression which supports a melodic line. The third invention is in a pointillist three- part counterpoint, where each of the four performers plays in the 3- voice texture, exploring the four different trio permutations of the quartet. The last invention starts with a slow 4- voice choral, followed by a series of fast- paced rhythmic hockets based on the same harmonic ideas. The four pieces are all based on the same 12- note thematic material and are subject to only one rule: the pleasure of invention.
Four Inventions was premiered by Quasar at the Claude Champagne Hall of the University of Montreal, in 1994.
Discography : Quasar quatuor de saxophones, ATMA (ALCD 2 1020)