Rouget de Lisle, Claude Joseph

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rouget de Lisle, Claude Joseph


Born May 10, 1760, in Lons-le-Saunier; died June 26 or 27, 1836, at Choisy-le-Roi. French poet and composer.

The son of a lawyer, Rouget de Lisle served as a military engineer. As a captain in the Army of the Rhine, he was in Strasbourg when France declared war on Austria (1792) as the latter was preparing an intervention. Inspired by the patriotism of the people, who rose in defense of their revolutionary fatherland, Rouget de Lisle composed Le Chant de guerre pour l’armée du Rhin (War Song for the Army of the Rhine); the melody and text were printed at once and later orchestrated by F. J. Gossec. The song reached Marseille, where it acquired the title of Marche des Marseillais (March of the Men of Marseille) or La Marseillaise. It was adopted as the national anthem of France in 1795.

Rouget de Lisle’s song Roland à Roncesvaux was also popular and was the source of a slogan of the revolutionaries of 1848. The composer’s other works included Essais en vers et en prose (Essays in Verse and Prose, 1796), the libretto for the comic opera Jacquot, ou L’École des mères (Jacquot, or the School for Mothers, 1798, in collaboration with C. E. Després), the drama Macbeth (1827), and collections of art songs (1796).


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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