National anthems---to vary or not to vary?
I'm performing at a cultural event in a little while and I'll be premiering my own work for a crowd of patriots. At the moment, it's a series of variations on the national anthem of Poland. I've intentionally kept them simple and musical (certainly not a-la-Paganini) as to show respect for the original, but I've been told it still might not go over well given how seriously they take this stuff.
I can still go back and replace the melody with my own---the piece is in the traditional dance style. I'd really like to play something recognizable that they will identify with, though.
Well, Paganini or not Paganini, at the end it's all about you as a musician, how good you are and your creativity, how you conceive the anthem. You're the one performing, it's you and only you the one that must decide how is it going to go, you need to understand your version and like it.
Ever hear a singer butcher "the star spangled banner" with tastelessly overwrought melismatic improvisation? So have I. My recommendation is to play it straight.
Hmm. Some people tell me it's a bad idea and that the public will be insulted. Some others I really trust say it will be a huge success. I've been living outside of Poland most of my life, so I'm really not sure what the attitude is about this.
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