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Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (b. Lons-le-Saunier, Jura on May 10, 1760; d. in Choisy-le-Roi, Seine-et-Oise on June 26, 1836) was a French composer who composed La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, in 1792.

Rouget de Lisle entered the army as an engineer and attained the rank of captain. The song that has immortalised him, the Marseillaise, was composed at Strassburg, where Rouget de Lisle was quartered in April 1792. He wrote both words and music in a fit of patriotic excitement after a public dinner. The piece was at first called Chant de guerre de l'armée du Rhin ("Battle Hymn of the Rhine Army") and only received its name of Marseillaise from its adoption by the Provençal volunteers whom Barbaroux introduced into Paris, and who were prominent in the storming of the Tuileries Palace. Rouget de Lisle was a moderate republican and was cashiered and thrown into prison, but the counter-revolution set him at liberty.

Rouget de Lisle wrote a few other songs of the same kind as the "Marseillaise", and in 1825 he published Chants français ("French Songs"), in which he set to music fifty songs by various authors. His Essais en vers et en prose ("Attempts in Verse and Prose", 1797) contains the "Marseillaise", a prose tale of the sentimental kind called "Adelaide et Monville", and some occasional poems.

Last updated: 08-12-2005 05:32:39
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13