Brother Raymondien

Brother Raymondien (b Auguste Schuller). Organist, composer, educator, essayist, b Brunstadt, a suburb of Mulhouse, Alsace, 6 Oct 1882, d Croix, northern France, 24 Aug 1947. He studied with the Christian Brothers of Belfort and entered their community in 1895. At about 17 he studied organ, violin, double-bass, and harmony at the Paris Cons. He emigrated to Canada in 1904. In 1908 he began composing religious and secular works. He was an accomplished master of Gregorian music, and in 1914 the Christian Brothers published his Solfège-Manuel du chant grégorien.

Brother Raymondien's compositions, however, became increasingly individualistic. Their number has been estimated at close to 300 and includes some 20 masses. For organ he wrote variations on well-known hymns, as well as an arrangement of Canadian tunes. Offertories, motets, faux-bourdons, hymns, organ accompaniments, and orchestrations of carols complete this abundant output. Among his 80 pieces of secular music are five operettas for use in the colleges of his order including L'Ange du Canada, the orchestration of an unpublished song by the tenor F.-X. Mercier entitled 'France et Canada,' and an extended concert piece for band, Voix patriotiques, based on three Canadian airs treated in cyclical form. In 1934 the last-named work was adapted for organ.

Brother Raymondien taught literature 1921-8 at the Académie commerciale de Québec and was director of music. He founded the 82-piece La Salle Concert Band in 1926 and composed more than 20 pieces for it. After sojourning 1928-9 in Belgium he returned to Quebec, spending 1929-31 in Yamachiche and 1931-8 in Ste-Foy. An essayist and educator, he founded a study group, Fratello, devoted to the study of art and artists. In 1938 he left Canada to settle in Dijon, where the German occupation did not interfere with his musical activity. In 1950 his friends and relatives in Canada erected a monument to his memory in the cemetery at Croix. His papers are deposited with the Christian Brothers in Ste-Foy.

Writings

'Conférences grégoriennes,' La Musique, vol 3, Jan-Sep 1921; also other articles in this periodical 1920-4

'Les grands orgues de Sainte-Anne de Beaupré,' Montreal Le Devoir, 8, 15, 22 Feb 1936