What is Vivier’s status right now internationally? Is he being performed, known by the concert-going public?
I would say the knowledge of his work is growing all the time. Several factors led to that: one, its being taken up by a major publisher in 2005, Boosey & Hawkes. The availability of scores and materials has boosted performances, no question about that. There are also a number of young composers who are interested in his work, in what he did technically, in terms of his musical language. As for how much he’s known to the public, contemporary music of this sort will never draw huge crowds, but the performances are increasing, and there’s more and more sense that this was a major figure and a very original one. There’s nobody who, like Vivier, really manages to combine this extremely strong emotional content — lots of his work is overwhelmingly emotional — with the compositional rigor of the sort that he was able to employ. His work will continue to be better known as the years go by.
My conversation with Bob Gilmore on arguably the most internationally renowned of all twentieth-century Canadian composers, available in full here.