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Classical music that quotes national anthems?


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Some examples I can think of:


Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No. 62: The middle movement is a set of variations on Haydn's own Austro-Hungarian imperial hymn Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, later repurposed as the German anthem (with new lyrics).


Carl Czerny - Variations on "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" - Self-explanatory


Henryk Wieniawsky - Variations on the Austrian National Anthem - Ditto


Bedrich Smetana - Triumphal Symphony: Fleeting appearances of Haydn's imperial hymn throughout the work, and finally concluded by a grand statement of it.


Ludwig Van Beethoven - Wellington's Victory - Quotes God Save The King/Queen.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Quotes God Save The Czar very prominently in Marche Slave, 1812 Overture (along with La Marseillaise), Festival Coronation March, and Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem (along with the Danish royal anthem).


Charles Gounod - Fantaisie sur l'hymne national Russe - Variations on God Save The Czar for pedal piano and orchestra


Sergei Bortkiewicz - Symphony No. 1 - A rousing quotation of God Save The Czar precedes the final closing flourish, though allegedly the instructions on the written score allow for the quotation to be skipped (?)


Jean Sibelius - Karelia Music - The complete work (not the more famous suite) closes with an arrangement of the Finnish national anthem Maamme.


Reinhold Gliere - Quotes The Internationale (the Soviet anthem between 1918-44) in The Red Poppy (ballet), Fantasy for the Komintern Festival, and Heroic March for the Buryiat-Mongolian ASSR. The last of these also has a brief quote of God Save The Czar.


Giuseppe Verdi - Hymn of Nations - Quotations of La Marseillaise, God Save The King/Queen, and Il Canto degli Italiani throughout the work. Toscanini later expanded the work with an extra coda containing The Internationale and The Star-Spangled Banner.


Multiple composers - The Yellow River Piano Concerto - Subtle hints of March of the Volunteers (the Chinese anthem), concludes with a statement of The Internationale.

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I would add Charles Ives' Variations on "America".  He was basing it on "My Country Tis of Thee" but of course that tune is also the UK national anthem.


The piece is originally for organ but it's most popular in William Schuman's arrangement for orchestra



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Edward Elgar's The Music Makers quotes La Marseillaise (drowned out by Rule, Britannia!).


Further east, our friends from Bucharest and Burnt Oak might recognise the old Romanian national anthem in George Enescu's Poème Roumain.  Vitezslav Novak quotes the Czech national anthem in the last movement of his South Bohemian Suite while Antonin Dvorak also quotes it in his My Home overture.  Czech them both out!  In the same neck of the woods, Lazslo Lajtha alludes to his country's national anthem in his seventh symphony, leaving the listener Hungary for more.


The Venezuelan composer Evencio Castellanos cites his country's national anthem in El Rio de las Siete Estrellas.  He must have been Caracas!  Sir Arthur Sullivan includes God Save the Queen in his ballet Victoria and Merrie England, long before The Sex Pistols referenced our national ditty.

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Ernö Dohnanyi's magnum opus "Cantus Vitae" contains quotes from the "Marseillaise" as well as the "Internationale", both fighting it out in a sort of "battle of ideologies". Thrilling piece - sadly there isn't an official recording available that I know of...


Puccini quotes the (beginning of) American anthem a few times in "Madama Butterfly".

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