Barring a photo tour of the Olympic Park when I finally get the chance to visit on 4 September, I promise that this will be the last post that references the London 2012 Olympic Games. I just wanted to draw your attention to the rather strange version of God Save The Queen that is being played during the medal ceremonies at London 2012. Have you noticed it?
Composer Philip Sheppard was tasked by LOCOG to recreate the participating country’s national anthem for London 2012, with the stipulation that each should be cut down (or extended in some cases) to around a minute and a half. I’ve included two versions of our national anthem below that will allow you to make a comparison, the first is the Sheppard version for London 2012 and the second is a far more conventional arrangement of the sort that you will hear at the BBC Proms each year, for example. I can’t be the only one that thinks that the section between 36 and 45 seconds in Philip Sheppard’s arrangement sounds distinctly sinister, and you’ll also notice that he’s missed out bits where he didn’t need to – the distinctive rising four notes found between each phrase in the regular version have mysteriously vanished for one thing. There’s a rather more detailed conversation about this controversial change over on Norman Lebrecht’s blog where the musicologists are venting their spleens, but I would be interested in hearing what my readers think. Do you like it, love it, hate it?
Just for fun, here’s the ‘Africanised’ version of the national anthem found on the Gary Barlow/Andrew Lloyd Webber EP created to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, ‘Sing‘. Now this really is different!