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Arranged for full Symphony Orchestra, The "Deutschlandlied" (English: "Song of Germany", officially titled "Das Lied der Deutschen", or "The Song of the Germans"), or part of it, has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922. In East Germany, the national anthem was "Auferstanden aus Ruinen" ("Risen from Ruins") between 1949 and 1990.
Since World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany, only the third stanza has been used as the national anthem. The stanza's beginning, "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" ("Unity and Justice and Freedom") is considered the unofficial national motto of Germany, and is inscribed on modern German Army belt buckles and the rims of some German coins.
The music is the hymn "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser", written in 1797 by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn as an anthem for the birthday of Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and later of Austria. In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of "Das Lied der Deutschen" as a new text for that music, counterposing the national unification of Germany to the eulogy of a monarch, lyrics that were considered revolutionary at the time. Along with the flag of Germany, which first appeared in its essentially "modern" form in 1778; it was one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848.
In order to endorse its republican and liberal tradition, the song was chosen as the national anthem of Germany in 1922, during the Weimar Republic. West Germany adopted the "Deutschlandlied" as its official national anthem in 1952 for similar reasons, with only the third stanza sung on official occasions. Upon German reunification in 1990, only the third stanza was confirmed as the national anthem.
The song is also well known by the beginning and refrain of the first stanza, "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" ("Germany, Germany above all"), but this has never been its title. The line "Germany, Germany above all" meant that the most important goal of 19th-century German liberal revolutionaries should be a unified Germany which would overcome loyalties to the local kingdoms, principalities, duchies and palatines (Kleinstaaterei) of then-fragmented Germany.
The melody of the "Deutschlandlied" was written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 to provide music to the poem "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" ("God save Franz the Emperor") by Lorenz Leopold Haschka. The song was a birthday anthem honouring Francis II (1768–1835), Habsburg emperor, and was intended as a parallel to Great Britain's "God Save the King". Haydn's work is sometimes called the "Emperor's Hymn."
It has been conjectured that Haydn took the first four measures of the melody from a Croatian folk song. This hypothesis has never achieved unanimous agreement; the alternative theory reverses the direction of transmission, positing that Haydn's melody was adapted as a folk tune. For further discussion see Haydn and folk music.
Haydn later used the hymn as the basis for the second movement (poco adagio cantabile) of his Opus 76 No. 3, a string quartet, often called the "Emperor" or "Kaiser" quartet.
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Reviews of German National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra
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