DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

MAJOR CHORDS | The Origins Of The Canadian National Anthem Revealed In Mozart

By Michael Vincent on July 1, 2020

June 24, 1880, marked the anniversary of the first time “O Canada” was ever sung. One hundred years later, on July 1, 1980, it was adopted as Canada’s official national anthem. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, and its English lyrics have changed a few times over the years.

But there has been some controversy over the origins of Lavallée’s O Canada. Namely its striking resemblance to Mozart’s March of the Priests from The Magic Flute.

Lavallée: O Canada

Mozart: March of the Priests

After comparing the two, it seems we owe just as much to Herr Mozart as we do to Mr. Lavallée for our nation’s anthem.

Historically, the tune was scheduled to premiere at an event on the Plains of Abraham with the Governor-General in attendance in Québec, but was later pulled due to an “unfortunate misunderstanding”. Some speculate that the misunderstanding due to the concern that people would deem Mozart’s fairy-tale opera influence as inappropriate for the serious occasion.

National anthems were often inspired by other music. For example, the melody of the American national anthem originated from an old British drinking song called “To Anacreon In Heaven.”

Did Lavallée take his Mozart inspiration too far? You be the judge.

#LUDWIGVAN

Want more updates on classical music and opera news and reviews? Follow us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter for all the latest.

Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
Follow me
Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
Follow me
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Christopher Rouse: ‘Love Letters To The Orchestra’

By Norman Lebrecht on July 24, 2020

What Chris Rouse wrote was not big symphonies, but an intimate series of love letters to the orchestra, an endangered species in our short-span century.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Making A Case For Dutilleux

By Norman Lebrecht on July 10, 2020

Quart de nuit (Deux-Elles) by the Ruysdael Quartet is a fine album that leaves me wanting more, more Dutilleux, especially.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

INTERVIEW | Composer/Conductor Eric Whitacre Talks About ‘Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently’

By Paula Citron on July 17, 2020

Grammy Award-winning American composer and conductor Eric Whitacre talks about inventing virtual choirs, and putting together his sixth iteration of the art form for the pandemic, 'Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently'.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.