Karel Mestdagh, De Schelde

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When, in the autumn of 2020, Antwaarpe by De Strangers was proclaimed Antwerp's unofficial national anthem, an article appeared in De Standaard with the title 'Why doesn't the people of Antwerp know their national anthem?' The real anthem of Antwerp, the official hymn so to speak, is De Schelde by the Bruges composer Karel Mestdagh (1850-1924) to a poem by Theodoor Sevens (1848-1927). Although you will not easily meet an inhabitant of Antwerp who can tell you that: it was only in the years 1920-1930 that De Schelde was performed on official occasions.

The BOO collection contains two versions of De Schelde: the original one by Karel Mestdagh for choir and orchestra and an adaptation by Jef Van Hoof (1886-1959). You can browse the original work here.

Oh yes, in their student days many Antwerp citizens must have sung this song at one cantus or another - just check your dusty student codex.