Rare recordings of La Marseillaise in the museum Collection musical library for the song 295th anniversary

The sublime beauty of the ancient French hymns, the tragic mightiness of the choirs by Christoph von Gluck and Andre Gretry and something from the majestic recitation of the 18th century French theater are fused in this immortal song, born of a single momentum of inspiration, perfectly combining words and melody.

... In July 1792, throughout France, appeals were heard to stand up for the revolutionary gains against the royal power. Volunteers from all over the country gathered in Marseille.

A student, François Etienne Mirer, a twenty-two-year-old handsome man, a brave heart, endowed with many abilities, including musical ones joined a small Provence detachment. All the way, he cheered the fellows in arms with cheerful Provencal songs. In Marseille, everyone joined the aggregated squad, preparing for the march to Paris. Finally, a short letter of order arrived: "... Send to Paris a battalion of men who are ready to die!"

Far away Paris! The Marseilles longed to enter there to glorify the revolution.

Before the final march, Francois asked to be given the floor. Everyone was waiting for what this ardent student would say. Instead of speaking, he sang a song unknown to the Marseilles, but its musical theme was immediately remembered. Volunteers demanded that François repeat the song. The next day, its words were printed and hung on the walls of Marseille's houses.

Ten days later, the battalion left Marseilles, singing a song that they came to like. It had no name. The name of the author - Claude Joseph Rouge de Lily - was unknown as well.

A walking march from Marseille to Paris lasted for twenty-eight days. For twenty-eight days a song sounded, beginning with the words: "Go ahead, the sons of a sweet homeland!"

It was easy to pace to the song marching rhythm. Its melody, as if rising upward from the initial sound, was full of invocatory power. Precious with its extraordinary simplicity, with repetitions that facilitated memorization, with transitions of tonalities refreshing its development, it seemed to pour courage and faith, leaving no room for doubt and fatigue. The musical theme of the song spread in Paris, it was memorized instantly! Revolutionary France went into battle armed with the Marseillaise. The song organized, disciplined and inspired. It seemed that there was a magnetic force in its sounds, which ensured the victory.

After the events of 1848, when a revolutionary slew swept over the entire Europe, the Marseillaise, personifying the struggle against tyranny and the aspiration for freedom, became a song of all revolutionaries around the world. It sounded on the battlefields and during the Paris Commune in 1871.

The museum Collection houses several unique records of the Marseillaise, stored on metal disks and paper music rolls. We have prepared a compilation  in which we have collected some of these records:

1) March "Marseillaise" - the anthem of France - digitized from metal disk, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, manufacturer: Symphonion Musikwerke
2) March "Marseillaise" - the anthem of France - digitized from paper music roll, Rouget de Lisle Claude Joseph, MANUFACTURE DE LIMONAIRES MARC FOURNIER
3) March "Marseillaise" - the anthem of France – digitized from paper music roll, dance organ Th. Mortier S.A.