Le Diable dans le Beffroi

This work is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of the same name. The story takes place in the fictional place of Vondervotteimittiss where life is specifically dictated by the great clock in the belfry of the steeple atop the House of the Town Council. The town council’s three most important resolutions:

  1. That it is wrong to alter the good old course of things;
  2. That there is nothing tolerable out of Vondervotteimittiss; and-
  3. That we will stick by our clocks and our cabbages. 1

A “finicky little personage” with “an audacious and sinister kind of face” who is none other than the devil himself invades this very traditional town one day. This newcomer proceeds to climb into the belfry and violently take control of the great clock. The inhabitants of the town are shocked and completely lost when the clock strokes not twelve but thirteen times. This causes all kinds of unspeakable chaos while the devil sits upon his throne with the bell-rope in his mouth. The story ends with the story teller appealing to the reader and to all lovers of correct time and fine Kraut to "proceed in a body to the borough, and restore the ancient order of things in Vandervotteimittiss by ejecting that little fellow from the steeple. 1

The work has the following five movements:

  1. Prélude
  2. La Vallée
  3. Le Village
  4. Le Beffroi et le Diable
  5. Épilogue

 (c) Walter Boudreau 

 1 Taken from The devil in the belfry by Edgar Allan Poe

This arrangement was given its world premiere by Continuum on December 5, 2015.


Walter Boudreau CA

Composer and conductor Walter Boudreau has created over sixty works for various types of ensembles, as well as fifteen film scores and two ballets. His works have been performed in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Finland. In 1998 he was awarded the Prix Opus "Composer of the year" (Conseil québécois de la musique). Since 1988 Boudreau has been artistic director and principal conductor of the Ensemble de la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). In 1990 he was appointed as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s first composer in residence for a period of three years. Boudreau has directed various contemporary music groups. With Denys Bouliane, he assumed the artistic direction of the Millennium Symphony (2000) and the Montreal/New Music Festival (MNM) (2003/05/07). Jointly they received the Prix Opus "Musical Event of the year." Among other distinctions, in 2003 Boudreau was awarded the Molson Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts, quickly followed in 2004 by the Prix Denise-Pelletier for the performing arts (Prix du Québec).In 2013 he was appointed as a Chevalier de l'Order du Québec and named as a Member of the Order of Canada, before getting theGovernor General’s Award (2015).

Walter Boudreau