Formats and Editions
Joachim Du Bellay (1522-1560) stormed onto the Parisian literary scene with the resounding avant-garde manifesto Défense et illustration de la langue française. Ronsard and Du Bellay are the great French poets of the sixteenth century, but while the former has been set to music hundreds of times, Du Bellay inspired only about thirty compositions. Denis Raisin Dadre and his ensemble Doulce Mémoire celebrate the Angevin poet on the occasion of his 500th anniversary with works by the leading composers of the period, among them Arcadelt (who set nine chansons to his texts, including Je ne puis dissimuler a year before Du Bellay's death), Lassus, Chardavoine and Verdonck. It was also established practice at the time to declaim poems accompanied by a musician who improvised on the lyre, an instrument and usage imported from Italy (recitare a la lira). Denis Raisin Dadre has decided to pay tribute to these sixteenth-century 'slammers' by asking a modern equivalent, Kwal, to 'slam' some of Du Bellay's sonnets, including the famous Heureux qui, comme Ulysse.