Talk:Pontifical Anthem

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External link[edit]

External link doesn't work. -- 18:43, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Multiple songs?[edit]

This article seems to describe at least two, possibly four songs: the Italian anthem ("inno") by Allegra, the "marcia pontificale", the Latin anthem, and the old anthem by Vittorino Hallmayr. If that is the case, perhaps it should be split into three separate articles. If some of those songs are just translations or parts of the same song, that should be made more clear in the article.
Jorge Stolfi 05:54, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

There seems to be a little confusion even at the Vatican about this. Their website says:
  • The Pontifical Hymn : On the occasion of the 1950 Holy Year, His Holiness Pius XII decided that Charles Gounod's (1818-1893) Pontifical March should become the official hymn, executed for the first time as such on 24 December 1949. The Pontifical March, as it was called by the Author (and according to some also known as Religious March), took on the new title of Pontifical Hymn, thus replacing the old Anthem composed by Vittorino Hallmayr in 1857 in the style of that period. Gounod, a man of sincere faith, had composed for the Priestly Jubilee Anniversary of His Holiness Pius IX the above-mentioned march, which was performed for the first time in his presence on 11 April 1869 by 7 military bands in Saint Peter's Square. In spite of the success, it did not substitute the old Hallmayr's Anthem for 81 years.
Grove 5 says "Marche religieuse" was an orchestral piece dated 1878. Maybe that was the date of publication, if it is the same piece that was performed in 1869.
It is unclear whether both parts of the current anthem were composed by Gounod. If not, who wrote the Hymn?
Or, maybe the title of our article is wrong. Maybe the anthem is called "Pontifical Hymn" as the website says, not "Hymn and Pontifical March". JackofOz 08:11, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

The more I look at this, the more confusing it gets. The sequence seems to be this:

  • Vittorino Hallmayr composed an anthem in 1857, which was the official anthem until 1950. (It would be good to get more information about this work, the composer's biography, and details of when by which Pope it was decreed the official anthem. That's a separate exercise).
  • In 1869, Pope Pius IX had his Golden Jubilee. For this, Gounod composed a "Pontifical March", also known as "Religious March". It had words, starting with "Salve, salve" (translated as "Hail, O Rome"). We do not know who wrote the words (and for the purposes of this article, we don't need to know). It was performed in 1869 in St Peters Square.
  • In 1949, Pope Pius XII declared a new anthem. This was Gounod's "Pontifical March", given a new name as "Pontifical Hymn". New words were used. These were written by Antonio Allegra and Raffaello Lavagna.
  • The texts shown in the article at the moment are a mixture of Lavagna's Latin, Allegra's Latin and Italian, and the original words to Gounod's March, in Latin and English. The original words have no place here because according to the Vatican's website they were replaced by new words when it became the official anthem.
  • However, I have an old photocopy of music that purports to be the Vatican anthem. It is called "Inno and Marcia Pontificale" (music by Gounod, words by Allegra). The Inno starts with the words "Roma immortale", which agrees with the Vatican's website as Allegra's words. The "Marcia Pontificale" starts with "Salve, salve", which according to the website are the original 1869 words, which Allegra could not have written. And there's no mention of Lavagna or his words ("Felix Roma") at all.
  • I don't know where that leaves us. JackofOz 08:58, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


I've added a "citation needed" tag on the claim that there are no lyrics to the anthem, this does not seem to be explicitly stated on the Holy See websites referenced in the article. (In fact, it is mentioned that there are lyrics to be found easily at the Vatican's site!) Also, the lyrics for the previous pontifical anthem seem to be simply the Italian lyrics of the current anthem (no longer used), for one they don't seem to fit the music of the previous anthem at all. --Canuckguy (talk) 01:41, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

The websites of the Holy See and Vatican City give the (quite different) lyrics that two individuals have written for Gounod's music, but do not say that either has been adopted officially. The recordings given on the two sites are of the music only. An official act in 1949 made Gounod's music the official papal anthem. There seems to have been no declaration making Allegra's Italian text official. Nor is there any evidence that Lavagna's 1991 Latin text has ever been declared official.
However, because of the difficulty of finding a source that explicitly says that neither these nor any other lyrics have been officially adopted, I have removed from the article the statement that there is no official text. I believe that the statement is true, but it is unsourced.
Where did you find the music of the previous anthem? I would be interested in hearing it. For my part, I find it difficult to fit to Gounod's music the text (a very simple structure of two-line strophes plus a two-line refrain) that the Holy See site says was sung to the music of the previous anthem. Lima (talk) 14:53, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The previous anthem melody can be found at [1] (melody only, no words). A MP3 of the current Vatican anthem with the lyrics can be heard at this site. My original assertation stands, though, if the Vatican puts lyrics on its page, it must have some kind of intent - while unofficial lyrics have been written for Spain and San Marino's anthems (among others), I don't beleive the official web sites for those governments have any lyrics on them because officially, there are none (and government websites are all about official-ness!) --Canuckguy (talk) 17:31, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
You have, at least largely, convinced me. Certainly about the "old text of the Papal March". But to avoid being accused of unsourced Original Research, we cannot state in the article that the lyrics given by the Press Officce of the Holy See on its website are official, unless we find a source that says so. The Press Office may perhaps give those texts merely as of interest, without declaring them any more official than, say, Marcos Barbosa's lyrics in Portuguese. Perhaps you can find a source that states explicitly that these two different lyrics, one in Italian, the other in Latin, have both been made official. Lima (talk) 20:02, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it seems more prudent to remove those "old lyrics" until we clear up this mess (see subsection below). Isn't there any authoritative source that is not derived from that Vatican site (or from Wikipedia?) All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 21:21, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Old "Old Lyrics" section[edit]

Since Hallmayer's composition is usually referred to as the Triumphal March, and Gounod's as the Papal March (or, since 1950. the Papal March and Anthem), the text that the Press Office of the Holy See gives in its article Inno Pontificio as "the old words of the Papal March" may have been associated with Gounod's music before 1950, when Allegra's text gained preference over it.

End of old "Old Lyrics" section[edit]

Longer Latin version?[edit]

I have temporarily removed the sentence which said

There is also a longer Latin text by the same writer and a more elaborate musical arrangement by the same composer, intended for choral performance.

since the Latin lyrics above it are marked to be sung by a four-voice choir. Are there indeed two versions of the Latin lyrics? All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 21:21, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Source for the "first eight bars" info[edit]

For the record, the source for the claim about eight-bars-on-flag-raising is the Italian version of the vatican site:

L'Inno Pontificio viene inoltre intonato allorché la bandiera vaticana viene issata, in forma solenne ed è eseguito, per intero, solo alla presenza del Santissimo Sacramento, del Santo Padre o in occasione del ricevimento ufficiale di Capi di Stato esteri, unitamente all'inno nazionale dei rispettivi Paesi, nonché fuori del Vaticano quando il Papa si reca in Visita Apostolica ad una Nazione, o quando un Legato Pontificio viene ricevuto ufficialmente in un Paese estero. Solo le prime otto battute vengono suonate alla presenza della bandiera dello Stato. Quando gli onori poi sono resi da reparti armati, l'inno viene preceduto da tre squilli di attenti.

My translation:

"The Pontifical Anthem is also played whenever the Vatican flag is raised, in solemn way and is performed, in full, only in the presence of the Most Holy Sacrament, of the Holy Father, or on occasion of the official reception of foreign Heads of State, together with the national anthem of the respective Countries, not to mention outside the Vartican when the Pope goes on an Apostolic Visit to a Nation, or when a Pontifical Delegate is received officially in a foreign Country. Only the first eight bars are played in presence of the State flag. When the honors are given by armed corps, the hymn is preceded by three [trumpet] notes of attention."

My translation may not be very good, but the Italian wording is a bit jumbled too. Nevertheless the meaning seems clear enough. The English translation of that page is visibly shorter, and apparently omits the paragraph above. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 02:03, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Lima (talk) 12:40, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

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