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Archive -Seychelles

The National Anthem saga— (Episode 3) |06 July 2018

 Who really wrote the National anthem?


After 25 years of silence, Seychellois Chef de Musique Antoine Azemia speaks out…

“Initially I was informed by the National Symbols Committee to compose the music for the anthem being the first Seychellois Chef de Musique.

“At the same time, I was also the Director and Conductor of the National Band writing and orchestrating music for different uses.

Before that, I had also orchestrated the Hymme des Jeux des Iles and the Isola Bella in both the harmonic and accompaniment versions.

Furthermore 20 romances were orchestrated. The 3 separate works were played and recorded in Paris by the Gardiens de la Paix  de Paris and L’orchestre Pro-Arte de Paris – ideas for words for the anthem were given by the committee chaired at that time by ex-minister Joseph Belmont. For aural listening, the music only was played using a small keyboard and recorded on a cassette before the final work.

“Sometime later, a few musicians of the National Band informed me that they were practicing the National Anthem written by a Russian instructor at the School of Music namely Mr Anatoli Safatinov. Mr Safatinov was in fact employed on a part-time basis with the National Band as a clarinetist and left after a while.

“The musicians showed me individual scripts with no title but with just the tempo as Moderato Nobile.

“To my great surprise, soon after I was called by the committee for an urgent meeting and asked to bring along the small keyboard. I was also informed that two other musicians would be present. The group wanted me to play my composed anthem, though I explained to them that it was impossible to play a full orchestrating piece on a small keyboard. They totally rejected my idea and instead proposed to re-write a new anthem with the two other musicians namely Mr David Andre and Mr Georges Payet using given words.

“At that stage, I informed them that the anthem was already written and being practiced and it would be just a farce to pretend otherwise.

“That was when I backed out.”  




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