The Burlesque Adventures of Mister Dassoucy

or The Lyre Rediscovered
concert mis en espace

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«Have you read Dassoucy? I ask you this, oh candidates for the poetic baccalaureate! Three centuries have done little for his glory and yet who can deny that his prose is among the most beautiful of this French language of which we are proud? But no one, after all, made me responsible for educating you...»

Louis Aragon, Les Poètes, 1960

We could say, like Louis Aragon, that no one made us responsible for the public's education. Yet, how we take pleasure, inducing the discovery of personalities such as that of Charles Dassoucy!

For some years, I had dreamed of building a musical program around the fantastic Charles Dassoucy, poet, composer, lutist, voyageur, and adventurer, but a little detail had always stopped me: his music couldn't be executed! Indeed, of his airs for four voices published in separated parts, the high part was considered lost... until now, when Frédéric Michel, professor of harpsichord at the Conservatory of Boulogne-Billancourt found in a Parisian library the missing part in a notebook .

At last, the polyphony of Dassoucy can come back to life, after three and a half centuries of oblivion! And it was time, because, as researcher Dominique Bertrand emphasizes: « How can one read Dassoucy without trying to find the lost inflections of his voice and his lyre? » So these inflections are no longer completely lost and it is the singular voice of a man even more singular that we want today's public to hear.

The turbulent life of Charles Coypeau Dassoucy (1605-1677), his geographical and social ramblings from courts to taverns, his stays in French and Italian prisons, the accusations of homosexuality and of child trafficking brought against him – all that contributes to making him a romanesque character that put himself on stage in his different works.

After having staged the life of another original poet and musician of the 17th century, Bellerofonte Castaldi, Faenza had to render homage, in recitation and in songs, to the friend of Molière and Cyrano de Bergerac whose music was a short time ago so miraculously discovered!

  • Olga Pitarch: vocals
  • Saskia Salembier: vocals, violin
  • Francisco Mañalich: vocals, bass viol, Baroque guitar
  • Marco Horvat: vocals, theorbo, Baroque guitar
, direction

Music by Charles Dassoucy: Airs à 4 parties du Sieur Dassoucy, Pierre Ballard, 1653

Texts by Charles Dassoucy, taken from:

  • L’Ovide en bel humeur (1650)
  • La Prison de M. Dassoucy (1674)
  • Les Pensées de M. Dassoucy (1676)
  • Les Aventures d’Italie (1677)
  • Les Aventures de M. Dassoucy (1678)

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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