United Anthems

“A welcoming olive branch of music. […] Goulet’s piece embraces Canada in the context of the wider world. […] It’s fascinating to listen for how Goulet strings anthems together, from Peru to the Philippines. […] It’s amazing to see how much musical wealth can be packed into just two and a half minutes.”
WQXR Classical New York, James Bennett, II

“An amazing two-minute and a half mash-up of 35 national.”
Classic FM, Lizzie Davis

“A brilliant idea! […] The anthems connects so well. […] A beautiful feat.”
Global News

United Anthems is a mosaic of very short musical excerpts from the anthems of 35 nations across the globe. The piece celebrates diversity and world peace.

Commissioned to highlight the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the piece begins, of course, with Canada’s national anthem. Next, we hear the anthems of France and the United Kingdom (the two “founding nations”), then that of the United States (the closest neighbour). The piece goes on to pay homage to many nations that contributed to the founding of Canada, particularly Scotland and Ireland. The vision broadens to include nations from every continent, sometimes even uniting populations that would not otherwise be joined (for example, North and South Korea or Israel and Palestine).

During the performance of the piece, images of each nation’s flag can be projected on a screen above the orchestra. The lowest staff of the score indicates precisely at what moment in the piece each flag should be shown to match the corresponding national anthem excerpt. All the image files of these flags are included as a Power Point file with the material of the piece.

Here is the list of the 35 anthems quoted in the piece : Canada, France, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Germany, Cuba, Japan, Switzerland, Greece, South, Africa, Egypt, Peru, Haiti, Argentina, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Denmark, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, Belgium, Colombia, Australia, Philippines, India, Poland, Nigeria, Mexico, China and Spain.

Instrumentation:
– Version for symphonic orchestra: 2.2.2.2 / 4.2.3.1 / timp+2 / strings
– Version for chamber orchestra: 1.1.1.1 / 1.1.0.0 / timp+1 / strings

Duration: 3 minutes

Suggested program: United Anthems is often programmed in Canadian celebration’s concerts (e.g. Canada Day) and for Olympic and/or world peace themed concerts.

Commissioned  by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the McGill Chamber Orchestra, as one in a series of fanfares, in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, with financial assistance from the Government of Canada.

Premiere: January 17th, 2017, by the McGill Chamber Orchestra and the conductor Boris Brott, at École Le Plateau Auditorium, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Media Coverage of United Anthems

Interview with Maxime Goulet about his composition United Anthems

Performance of a shorter version of United Anthems (including 24 national anthems) by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and maestro Peter Oundjian, followed by an interview with Maxime Goulet.

Performances of United Anthems

2019, Mar. 31 | Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Thomas Le Duc-Moreau | Grand Théâtre de Québec, Quebec, QC, Canada

2018, July 26 | National Academy OrchestraBoris BrottBrott Music Festival | L.R. Wilson Hall, Hamilton, ON, Canada

2017, Nov. 5 | Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Roberto De Clara | Oakville, ON, Canada
2017, Nov. 4 | Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Roberto De Clara | Oakville, ON, Canada
2017, Apr. 25 | McGill Chamber Orchestra, Boris Brott | Maison Symphonique, Montreal, QC, Canada
2017, Jan. 28 | Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian | Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada
2017, Jan. 17 | McGill Chamber Orchestra, Boris Brott | École Le Plateau Auditorium, Montreal, QC, Canada  (premiere)



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