Sounds of the Saint Lawrence - A Quebec Folk Song Suite

2008 marked the 400th anniversary of the 1608 founding of Quebec City in Canada. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Band of Les Voltigeurs de Québec, an infantry regiment of the Canadian forces, commissioned two pieces from composer Philip Sparke for a concert and associated CD release; they were a fantasy, based on the Beethoven canon Freu' dich des Lebens, and this Quebec folk song suite.

The folk songs of Quebec share, for obvious reasons, a history with the folk songs of France, but many can also claim to originate in Canada.

All three movements of this suite use different settings of the evocative Là-haut sur ces montagnes as an introduction and are then based on two popular folk songs. The first movement uses Veillée rustique and Petit Jean, the second uses À la claire fontaine and Vive les matelots and the third is based on C'est l'aviron and Au cabaret.