Although with enormous difficulty due to his age, José Córdoba was the only survivor who sang the National Anthem with his clarinet, 50 years ago.
Original text published by La Nación on January 18, 1973
The history of the Costa Rican National Anthem is long, but the only man who can tell it with full authority and who participated in it is still alive. It is José Córdoba, a musician from Curridabat who was a member of the National Band when he performed the Anthem for the first time with the definitive lyrics. Córdoba recounted that, being very young, he showed off with his clarinet to interpret this patriotic symbol.
Códoba is currently 99 years old and disabled. But he specified that it was September 15, 1903 when he had the joy of showing off with his instrument and singing the Hymn.
The creation of the Anthem was in June 1852 when President Juan Rafael Mora realized that the country did not have national music and that it was necessary to sing something at the presentation ceremony of two illustrious representatives from the United States and Great Britain, who would come to the country.
It is said that Juan Rafael Mora imperatively ordered the general director of bands, Don Manuel María Gutiérrez, to compose music and some went so far as to affirm that he put it under lock and key with the expectation that he would not leave until the order was fulfilled, but this version is not safe. But what is certain is that on June 11, 1852, when the distinguished visitors were received at the National Palace (former Artillery and today the Central Bank), in addition to English and North American music, the notes of Costa Rica were heard. . The definitive lyrics were written by José María Zeledón Brenes in 1903.
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50 years ago today: Only one musician from the historic band that sang the National Anthem in 1903 survives