The thirteen songs listed below document the changing musical landscape of France in the revolutionary era. An ensemble at Texas Tech University did about half of the recordings in 1989. Musicians associated with Boston University performed the rest especially for this project. Included here are the actual recordings as well as the lyrics in French and English.
There are 13 matching records.
Funeral Hymn for General Hoche
This hymn was performed at the state funeral held in Paris for Lazare Hoche. Only twentynine when he died, Hoche was already famous for his daring military leadership against the Prussians in 1793 and for the role he played in helping to quell counterrevolution in the west of France.
Hymn for the Festival of Marriage
Although festivals drew much smaller audiences during the final years of the Revolution, the government continued to celebrate them. Now, however, they tended to commemorate apolitical events: thus a festival, and hymn, devoted to the subject of marriage.
Hymn of 21 January
With lyrics drawn from a Republican Ode composed by the revolutionary poet Lebrun in 1793, this hymn commemorates the execution of Louis XVI.
Hymn of 9 Thermidor
This hymn commemorates the overthrow of Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety by the men of the National Convention. It had its debut performance on the first anniversary of that event (27 July 1795).
Itíll Be Okay
Popular during the early years of the Revolution, this songs lively tune and repetitive chorus expressed revolutionaries hopefulness about the future. Singers manipulated its malleable lyrics to address a broad range of topical issues.
Oh Richard, Oh, My King!
This aria from the Gretry opera, Richard the LionHearted, was adopted by royalists during the early years of the Revolution. The songs accusation that the king had been abandoned by all but his most devoted followers made it a suitable counterrevolutionary anthem.
Patriotic Song on the Unveiling of the Busts of Marat and Le Pelletier (1793)
This song illustrates the fluid boundary between "high" and "popular" musical forms. Althought these lyrics were set to a new composition by Joseph Gossec, they could also be sung to a tune already familiar to many French men and women. The song honors journalist JeanPaul Marat and deputy Michel LePelletier, both of whom had been assasinated and were considered martyrs to the Revolution.
Song for the Festival of Old Age
This song was composed for one of the many Directorial festivals that were not overtly political. Several, like the festival for which this song was composed, celebrated important moments in the life cycle.
Song of the Marseillaise of the Federation of 10 August, Year II
One of many hymns that was composed by rhyming new lyrics to the wildly popular tune of the "Marseillaise," this song was performed at a festival celebrating the first anniversary of the republican revolution of August 10.
Te Deum for the Federation of July 14, 1790 at the Champ de Mars
A hymn written by Joseph Gossec to celebrate national unity on the first anniversary of the taking of the Bastille. Combining old and new, Gossec set a traditional Latin text to music scored for wind instruments (rather than the common organ), the sound of which carried well at the outdoor festival.
The Alarm of the People
Composed by J.M. Souriguieres, a parisian dramatist, and Pierre Gaveaux, an actor, this song demands revenge for the crimes and bloodshed of the Terror. It was quickly adopted as an anthem by the "gilded youth" of the Thermidoran Reaction, who sang it in opposition to singers of the Marseillaise.
Sharing its name with a popular dance, this song heaps scorn upon the queen (Madame Veto), believed to be a traitor, and the "aristocrats" who support her. Like "Itll Be Okay", the simple tune of the "Carmagnole" permitted even the illiterate to learn lyrics with which to proclaim their conviction in the Revolutions progress.
The Marseillaise (War Song for the Army of theRhine)
Composed by Joseph Rouget de Lisle when he learned that France had declared war on Austria, the Marseillaise quickly became the anthem of the republican Revolution. it remains the French national anthem today. A republican anthem, the Marseillaise was considered suitable for all sorts of revolutionary events. While it was often sung casually in streets and parks, its learned composition also facilitated its adoption as a hymn by formallytrained musicians and singers.