20th Century
Secular music
Psalms to music
20th Century

Marot set to music, mainly in 20th century

[and 21st century...]


In the 16th (and part of the 17th) century Marot was one of the most popular lyricists when music is concerned. In the 18th century I can't think of any composer bothering to turn to Marot for lyrics, and in the 19th there is only one: Napoléon-Henri Reber (1807-1880), an exceptional composer in more than one way. Chronologically Maurice Ravel's compositions on two epigrams of Marot also belong to the 19th century but his music to the next. Below a list of the compositions I was able to trace, in alphabetical order. The sources consulted are: Graham Johnson, Richard Stokes, A French Song Companion (OUP) and Grove's Dictionary of Music. [and 21st century...] On the internet I found an uptempo recitation of the "petite épitre au Roy", put to music...very nice: just follow this link (opens new window).


Jean Binet (1893-1960)

  • 1928: Six mélodies (to texts of Marot): ??


George Enescu (1881-1955)

  • 1908: Sept chansons de Clément Marot 1v, pf

    1. Estreines à Anne (see on this website epigrams)

    2. Languir me fais (see on this website: chansons, nr. XIII)

    3. Aux Damoyselles paresseuses d'escrire à leurs Amys

    4. Estreine de la Rose

    5. Present de Couleur blanche

    6. Changeons propos, c'est trop chanté d'Amours (see on this website: chansons XXXII)

    7. Du Conflict en Douleur (= rondeau)

Jean Françaix (1912-1997)

  • 1938: Trois épigrammes (one of C. Marot, A une Demoiselle malade), the others by C. d’Orléans, J. du Bellay), 4vv, str qnt, (the French Song Companion gives as date 1961, typo?). A Special page on this website is devoted to this poem: Ma Mignonne 

  • 1941: Adolescence Clémentine (5 poems), vv, pf, 1941
    1. De Jehan Jehan (see on this website: epigrams)
    2. Mon coeur est tout endormy
    3. D’une vieille dame fort pâle et d’un vieil gentilhomme
    4. Complainte (= Adieu, ce bel oeil  & Plaisir n'ay plus)
    5. Avantnaissance (see on this website: Avant-naissance)

  • 1947: Chanson (Marguerite d'Alençon et de soi-même ?), 1v, pf/gui, 1947 [to celebrate the 60th birthday of Nadia Boulanger]

[the odd one out:] Arthur Honegger: Trois psaumes (Pss xxxiv, cxl, cxxxviii), 1940–41. The last one is a text -  biblical paraphrase of Psalm 138 - by Clément Marot.

Jacques de Menasce (1905-1960)

  • 195.?: Quatre chansons (Molière, Marot (...?), Villon, D'Orléans) 1v (tenor), stringorchestra


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Both songs were dedicated to Madame Hardy-Thé, who gave their first performance at the Salle Érard in Paris in January 1900, with Ravel accompanying her on the piano. They were orchestrated by Maurice Delage.



Napoléon-Henri Reber (1807-1880)

  • 18..? : a number of chansons by Marot (among which l'Ermite - I presume: Chanson XXXIV)
    Reber (known from his Traité d'harmonie (1862)) was described by his friend Saint-Saens as a kind of musical anachronism, bewilderd by the way music and art was treated and developed in his own times. According to Johnson & Stokes, his music "is worthy of reassessment. A group of his songs, simple, yet lacking sentimentality and pathos (the besetting sin of his period), would make an unusual and appropriate beginning to a melodie recital." (French Song Companion, p. 429)

Jean Rivier (1896-1987)

  • 1944: Trois poèmes de Ronsard et un de Clément Marot (I. Bel Aubépin - II. Rossignol, mon mignon - III. Le Tombeau de Ronsard - IV. Dedans Paris, ville jolie (Clément Marot)), 1v (high), pf. A nice interpretation by Christopher Goldsack with Clare Toomer at the piano:




This site was last updated Saturday, 18 February 2023

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