Vive la Liberté ! For 2-part treble choir, flute, percussion, piano

$2.00

This work was commissioned by the Lafayette 250 Committee of Arrangements for a performance by the St. Patrick Catholic School Concert Choir, under the direction of Paul Cunningham, in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette on the occasion of his 250th birth anniversary, the celebration of which was held in historic downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina on the 6th day of September 2007, in the first city in the United States to be named for Lafayette.

Duration: 4:30
Instrumentation: 2-part treble choir, flute, percussion, piano (may be performed without percussion).  A version is also available for SATB choir.
Movements: 1

Description

Vive la Liberté was commissioned to celebrate the life of the Marquis de Lafayette and his constant belief in liberty and freedom for all people. His involvement in this quest stretched from the American Revolution through the French Revolution and beyond.  He was a remarkable individual, and I thought a fitting way to honor him would be through composing a piece that encompassed his lifelong dedication to freedom on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and by combining texts that showed these virtues.

The phrase “Vive Lafayette! Vive la Liberté!” which was shouted by the people during the French Revolution as he fought for their rights also serves as a fitting way to honor him in the opening of this piece.  The quote “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” was apparently spoken by Lafayette after the defeat of the British during the battle of Yorktown in Virginia.  The final quote “America is destined to become the safe and venerable asylum of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance, and of peaceful liberty” was taken from a letter the young idealist Lafayette wrote to his wife, Adrienne, as he sailed toward America in 1777, ready to join the ranks of the Americans in the fight for their freedom.  The final lines of the piece bring together the French phrase “Vive Lafayette! Vive la Liberté!” and “Humanity and Liberty!” to symbolize Lafayette’s universal belief in liberty.

Lafayette was a hero to the people during his lifetime, and in honoring him through this piece I hope that we will continue to recognize his dedication to freedom and to follow in his footsteps.

 

Text

Vive Lafayette! Vive la Liberté!
Humanity and Liberty!

Humanity has won its battle.
Liberty now has a country.

America is destined to become
The safe and venerable asylum
of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance,
and of peaceful liberty.

Vive Lafayette! Vive la Liberté!
Humanity and Liberty!

– Text compiled by Jenni Brandon