The London Philharmonic Orchestra has completed 50 hours of recording at Abbey Road Studios in which the national anthems of all 205 countries were recorded for use in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Conductor Philip Sheppard made the arrangements and spoke about the challenges to Adam Sweeting in The Telegraph.
“Something I wrangled with initially was the difference between patriotism and nationalism,” he says. “If it’s something a state uses to impose itself on another, like planting a flag, that can be uncomfortable, but if it’s something the people themselves are proud of, than that’s different.
“For instance, we’ve recorded anthems from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Sudan, and all these countries are in massive flux. I was watching the television coverage from Egypt and I was struck by the way the protesters were very passionately singing the Egyptian national anthem.”