La Marseillante

Année de composition
45 min
instrumental and vocal
For 2 soloists, choir, instrumental ensemble and plectrum orchestra

How do you tell the story of a piece of music like La Marseillaise? How can we pay homage to it when it is there, itself, to pay homage to what we are as a people?
How do you find a new angle when it’s so firmly anchored in our lives and our imaginations, how do you sing it differently, how do you preserve its message and its unifying force without repeating it identically?

Our project presented itself as a challenge, but we dared to take this particular liberty and audacity: we trusted in the evocative power of this music. If we let ourselves go, the motifs of our national anthem will make us sad or happy, disarmed or incredibly happy, reassured or overwhelmed, recalling a past moment, a precise context…

We wanted to get to the heart of this Marseillaise. We wanted to break it up, and revisit each passage, each line separately. We tried to dissect each motif, to find out what lay behind it, to explore all possible meanings. Our aim was to build a musical form that could be constructed like a jigsaw puzzle, gradually arriving at a recognized and familiar sound.

Each melodic snippet of the Marseillaise has given rise to a particular musical episode that develops independently and gradually transforms itself.

By trying to explore these little nooks and crannies where memories of an earlier musical emotion are hidden, we hope to rediscover that special sense of wonder, that of first hearing.

In coproduction with Prodig’Art
In partnership with Nine Spirit, Quatuor Alètheia and Compagnie VBD & Co

Création mondiale
November 27, 2021 | Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France
Edited by the composer
Pierre Senges

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