Mourey: In Memoriam – Marcelo de la Puebla

Colette Mourey’s In Memoriam is a set of variations on Anna Marley’s famous Song of the Partisans.

According to Wikipedia:

The Chant des Partisans was the most popular song of the Free French and French Resistance during World War II.

The piece was written and put to melody in London in 1943 after Anna Marly heard a Russian song that provided her with inspiration. Joseph Kessel and Maurice Druon wrote the French lyrics. It was performed by Anna Marly, broadcast by the BBC and adopted by the maquis. The lyrics of the song revolve around the idea of a life-or-death struggle for national liberation, and they also carry elements of a communist political message (for example, calling upon the workers and peasants to rise up).

After the war the Chant des Partisans was so popular, it was proposed as a new national anthem for France. It became for a short while the unofficial national anthem, next to the official La Marseillaise.

In this concert, Chilean guitarist Marcelo de la Puebla gives the world premiere performance of the piece. The video opens with a few words from the composer, who, via Skype, was able to address the audience and enjoy the concert from her home in France. The Skype connection was poor, so the communication was difficult, but I thought it was good to keep it in the video to document the event. The music begins at the four-minute mark.