Hymn of the Nations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hymn of the Nations
DVD cover of Toscanini: The Maestro containing Hymn of the Nations
Directed by Alexander Hammid
Produced by Irving Lerner
Written by May Sarton
Starring Arturo Toscanini
Jan Peerce
Narrated by Knox Manning (original narration)
Burgess Meredith (alternative narration)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Cinematography Boris Kaufman
Distributed by US Office of War Information
Arthur Mayer & Joseph Burstyn (1946 theatrical release)
Release date
  • February 1944 (1944-02)
Running time
31 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Hymn of the Nations, originally titled Arturo Toscanini: Hymn of the Nations, is a 1944 film directed by Alexander Hammid, which features the Inno delle nazioni, a patriotic work for tenor soloist, chorus, and orchestra, composed by Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi in the early-1860s. For this musical work, Verdi utilized the national anthems of several European nations.

In December 1943, Arturo Toscanini filmed a performance of this music for inclusion in an Office of War Information documentary about the role of Italian-Americans in aiding the Allies during World War II. Toscanini added a bridge passage to include arrangements of "The Star Spangled Banner" for the United States and "The Internationale" for the Soviet Union and the Italian partisans.[1] Joining Toscanini in the filmed performance in NBC Studio 8-H, were tenor Jan Peerce, the Westminster Choir, and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

The film also included the overture to Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino. The narration was written by May Sarton, film editing by Boris Kaufman, and narration read by actor Burgess Meredith. The original version was released on VHS by Blackhawk Films, which retitled it Arturo Toscanini Conducts Giuseppe Verdi. A newly restored version by the Library of Congress, with the Meredith narration, has been issued on DVD.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.[2]


External links[edit]