Smith-Godowsky – The Star-Spangled Banner (piano solo version)

Smith-Godowsky – The Star-Spangled Banner (piano solo version)

“The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. “Hail, Columbia” served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”, whose melody is identical to “God Save the Queen”, the British national anthem, also served as a de facto anthem. Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

Lyrics:

Oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

(Wikipedia)

Please take note that the audio AND the sheet music ARE NOT mine. Change the quality to 480p if the video is blurry.

Original audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFed4kjw7Q0

23 Comments

  1. Peter Chibunna on November 7, 2021 at 10:33 am
  2. Macgki on November 7, 2021 at 10:36 am

    A bit more scales, and we would have Cziffra’s transcription 🙂

  3. leongatha6 on November 7, 2021 at 10:37 am

    Rachmaninoff’s version the best–refined and tasteful as always.

  4. Bob Schaaf on November 7, 2021 at 10:40 am

    En effet, un hunque de junque veritable.

  5. JT Wolfe on November 7, 2021 at 10:47 am

    America and music – my two dearest treasures

  6. AmerTheHuman on November 7, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Amer’s Manor, Our Home.

  7. nezkeys79 on November 7, 2021 at 10:47 am

    I prefer chick coreas version in the superbowl

    https://youtu.be/SH0Pwwbt_D4

  8. _somtinwong on November 7, 2021 at 10:48 am

    A bit complicated, but otherwise a masterpiece

  9. Víctor White on November 7, 2021 at 10:54 am

    I am not american and this gave me an eargasm

  10. Ludwig Van Beethoven on November 7, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Could turn this into the mazeppa

  11. Mr. Boomer on November 7, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Well, I mean, technically, it is a victory song… might as well be played like one

  12. PiroozAzDirooz on November 7, 2021 at 11:04 am

    A little lethargic.

  13. Ted Chaffman on November 7, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Godowsky: Hey Rachmaninoff, hold my beer

  14. PointyTailofSatan on November 7, 2021 at 11:09 am

    That left hand is Godowsky. No doubt. lol

  15. Paolo Rico Lacaba on November 7, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Triakontameron

  16. Francis Moran on November 7, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Stunning. Stirring. Remarkable. 🇺🇸

  17. Jacques Mertens on November 7, 2021 at 11:21 am

    It’s supposed to be an anthem, not a bombardment.

  18. Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев on November 7, 2021 at 11:22 am

    🇺🇸🗽

  19. icravecheddar on November 7, 2021 at 11:24 am

    This feels like an homage to Paganini’s Variations of "God Save the King"

  20. Charles Bluett on November 7, 2021 at 11:24 am

    There is no distinction in the playing between what is written as a quaver rest and then three semiquaver triplets, and what is written as a semiquaver rest and then three semiquavers. First happens at 30 seconds

  21. Archduke Big Dog Koopa on November 7, 2021 at 11:26 am

    My version should sound like a compromise between the US National Anthem’s rendition itself[The Star-Spangled Banner] and its source tune’s rendition itself[The Anacreontic Song (To Anacreon In Heaven Where He Sat In Full Glee)].
    Here’s my version of the parody:

    O Who has not seen in the still of the night
    Scary boos lurking outside from Luigi’s Mansion?
    For King Boo lifts up curses so dark and divine!
    That a ghost vacuum one created through this tension.
    What a plan E. Gadd had!
    So brave he was in fact!
    He called out Luigi and he let him act fast!!!!
    Since 2003, Luigi’s been so brave.
    That he earned so much honor for all of his games!!!!

  22. Louis Brooksiefan on November 7, 2021 at 11:28 am

    😝

  23. MoCh Drew on November 7, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Is the pedal expected to be this uncleared?

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