Schweizer Wappen Swiss Psalm

Swiss Psalm

The Homepage of the Patronizing Association Widmer Zwyssig

Our Homepage is a Swiss centre of competence for questions about the Swiss National hymn (Swiss Psalm) and the mass with the Swiss Psalm.

The Swiss National hymn is a perfect example of oecumenical co-operation in a dark time of deep religious and political disputes. The radical Leonhard Widmer from Zürich, (photo above left) wrote the poem “Swiss Psalm” in the year 1840, which the conservative conductor and father of the Wettingen Monastery, Alberik Zwyssig (photo above right) presented it to be composed. Zwyssig set the words to music, his strongly altered, “Diligam te Domine” (photo below left), which was performed in 1835 for his friend Father Plazidus Bumbacher, who was appointed as the new priest in the old village church of Wettingen. (photo below right)

The Swiss Psalm is the national hymn of Switzerland, it was provisionally introduced in 1961 and since 1981 it is definitely valid. The text of the hymn is not very easy, but when the hymn is sung, mostly on the Swiss National Day (1st August) and on the Swiss National thanksgiving day (3rd Sunday in September) a separate pamphlet with the words of the hymn are given out or it is to be found in the church song book. Over decades the hymn has been attempted to be replaced but all of the trials failed. In the German speaking part of Switzerland they wanted to at least change the words. The trials ended in chaos, which prominent historians and politicians confirmed. Today the hymn is generally accepted. Also it is sung enthusiasticly on the occasion of the broadcasting of the National football games. A few years ago an unthinkable matter.

As a contribution for the understanding and acceptance of the National hymn, the Swiss musician Hubert Spörri composed a Latin mass based on the psalm composition “Diligam te Domine”- Psalm 18 (17). Because the words of the psalm have a timeless and universal validity, the mass has been performed outside of Switzerland. Swiss choirs from abroad also enjoy singing the mass. A Swiss choir from Zürich sang the mass on their tour of America from 16th April until 1st May 2009. The name of the mass with the Swiss Psalm thereupon leads back to, that the “Diligam te Domine” melody is the same melody as the Swiss Psalm.

Prominent politicians, historians and cultural producers from all over Switzerland are delighted about the over 200 successful performances which took place until the end of 2012
The sheets of music for the mass are available under or over the phone number 0041 77 402 31 12.

Several further information you will find under www.schweizerpsalm.ch or www.salmosvizzero.ch

• Visit our numerous photos and videos on www.schweizerpsalm.ch
• Visit also our page with listening samples of the mass or the psalms of P.A. Zwyssig under www.schweizerpsalm.ch/Hoerbeispiele/
• Download under www.schweizerpsalm.ch for musical notes of the mass and newspaper articles about the mass and the contest "New swiss national anthem". Claim further information under

Hubert Spörri; “ 16 Variations of “Diligam te Domine” for string quartet (on the occasion of the 175th birthday of Diligam te Domine)
P.Alberik Zwyssig: 17 Songs for voice and piano
Available under or over the phone number 0041 77 402 31 12.