Thomas Augustine Arne  
Thomas Augustine Arne

Thomas Arne painted by Johann Zoffany
Thomas Augustine Arne (12 March 1710 – 5 March 1778) was a British composer, best known for the patriotic song Rule, Britannia!. He also wrote a version of God Save the King, which was to become the British national anthem, and the song A-Hunting We Will Go. Arne was the leading British theatre composer of the 18th century, working at Drury Lane and Covent Garden.
Early life

Arne was born and died in London. His father and grandfather were both upholsterers and both became officials of the City Company of Upholsterers. His grandfather fell upon hard times and died in the Marshalsea Prison for debtors. Arne's father earned enough money not only to rent a large house in Covent Garden but also to have Arne educated at Eton College. But later in life, he also managed to lose most of his wealth and had to earn extra cash by acting as a numberer of the boxes at Drury Lane Theatre.
Arne was so keen on music that he smuggled a spinet into his room and, damping the sounds with his handkerchief, would secretly practise during the night while the rest of the family slept. He also dressed up as a liveryman in order to gain access to the gallery of the Italian Opera. It was at the opera that Arne first met the musician and composer Michael Festing, who was a major influence on him. Festing not only taught him to play the violin, but also took him to various musical events, including going to hear Thomas Roseingrave compete for the post of organist at Hanover Square, and a visit to Oxford in 1733 to hear George Frideric Handel's oratorio Athalia.
Upon leaving school, Arne was articled to a solicitor for three years. However, Arne's father discovered his son leading a group of musicians at what was probably one of Festing's musical gatherings. Following this disclosure of his son's real interest and talent, he was persuaded (again probably by Festing) to allow the young Arne to give up his legal career and to pursue music as a living.
He was baptised in the Roman Catholic faith, his mother's religion.

Musical career

Arne's sister, Susannah Maria Arne, was a famous contralto, who performed in some of his works, including his first opera, Rosamund. (She would later become known professionally as "Mrs Cibber".) They and their brother Richard would often perform Arne's works together. Between 1733 and 1776, Arne wrote music for about 90 stage works, including plays, masques, pantomimes, and opera. Many of his dramatic scores are now lost, probably in the disastrous fire at Covent Garden in 1808.
Arne was a Freemason and active in the organisation, which has long been centred around the Covent Garden area of London, of which Arne was a native.
Arne's Catholicism meant that he never composed music for the Church of England, unlike most other leading English composers of his time.
On 15 March 1737, Arne married singer Cecilia Young, whose sister, Isabella was the wife of John Frederick Lampe.
Arne's operas and masques became very popular, and he received the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales, at whose country home, Cliveden, the Masque of Alfred, featuring "Rule Britannia", was debuted in 1740.
In 1741, Arne filed a complaint in Chancery pertaining to a breach of musical copyright and claimed that some of his theatrical songs had been printed and sold by Henry Roberts and John Johnson, the London booksellers and music distributors. The matter was settled out of court. Arne was certainly one of the very first composers to have appealed to the law over copyright issues.
In 1750, after an argument with David Garrick, Susannah left Drury Lane for Covent Garden Theatre, and Arne followed. In 1755 during a period spent in Dublin, he separated from Cecilia, who, he alleged, was mentally ill. He began a relationship with one of his pupils, Charlotte Brent, a soprano and former child prodigy. Brent performed in several of Arne's works, including the role of Sally in his 1760 opera Thomas and Sally and Mandane in his 1762 opera Artaxerxes. Eventually Brent and Arne went their separate ways and she married a violinist named Thomas Pinto in 1766.
During the 1760s Arne frequently collaborated with the Irish writer Isaac Bickerstaffe. Thomas and Sally was the first English comic opera to be sung throughout (it contained no dialogue).[2] Artaxerxes was one of the most successful and influential English operas of the 18th century and is the only known attempt to write an Italianate, Metastasian opera seria, in the English language. It was frequently performed in London into the 1830s. In a 1791 visit to London, Joseph Haydn was impressed by a performance of Artaxerxes he attended and admitted that he had no idea such an opera existed in the English language.

In 1769 Arne composed the song Soft Flowing Avon, with lyrics by David Garrick, for the Shakespeare Jubilee held by Garrick in Stratford-upon-Avon to commemorate the life of William Shakespeare.
In 1777, shortly before his death, Arne and his wife were reconciled. They had one son, Michael Arne who was also a composer. Arne is buried at St Paul's, Covent Garden, London.
A blue plaque, unveiled in 1988, commemorates Arne at 31 King Street in Covent Garden.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Arne was born into a family of London upholsterers and educated at Eton College. A quick grasp of music enabled him to teach his brother and sister to sing; when he was 23, they appeared in his first opera, Rosamond, styled "after the Italian manner." Its success led to commissions to write music for Drury Lane Theatre.

Arne composed many songs for productions of Shakespeare's plays, including As You Like It and The Tempest. "Under the greenwood tree" and "Where the bee sucks", for example, reveal his unique talent for lyrical, melodic writing. Of his other songs, the most famous is "Rule Britannia", from the masque Alfred, which was requested by the Prince of Wales and performed at Cliveden House on the Thames in 1740. Arne published annual collections of his vast output of songs, which in the main celebrate the rhythms of life and nature. In 1745, during the threat to the English Crown posed by the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Arne's setting of "God Save the King" was sung every night by the gentlemen in the audience until the dangers had receded.

He had married the singer Cecilia Young in 1737, but after a trip to Ireland in 1755 - during which, together with Arne's sister, they gave musical performances m Dublin, including Handel's Messiah — the marriage broke down.

Arne also turned his hand to the oratorio, writing Judith for Lent in 1761. In 1762 he premiered Artaxerxes, introducing the grander Italian style to many English concert-goers; it was the only English opera to be regularly performed until the nineteenth century.

For 20 years Arne gave concerts at London's pleasure gardens, such as Mary-lebone, Ranelagh, and Vauxhall. In his last decade he wrote Shakespeare ode and the masque The fairy prince. Rheumatism finally affected his ability to play, and he died in March 1778, comforted by a reconciliation with his wife Cecilia.

Thomas Arne - Rise, Glory, Rise
Rise, Glory, rise - Aria from Thomas Arne's Rosamond

Emma Kirkby, soprano

Thomas Arne - Rule, Britannia!
Edward Barham, Tenor. John Wallace & John Miller, Trumpet. English String Orchestra, William Boughton

This version is taken from The Works of James Thomson by James Thomson, Published 1763, Vol II, p. 191, which includes the entire original text of Alfred.


When Britain first, at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


The nations, not so blest as thee,
Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall;
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful, from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:
All their attempts to bend thee down,
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine:
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair;
Blest Isle! With matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."



Riot over the abolition of half price admission fees at the Theatre Royal,
Covent Garden during a 1763 performance of Artaxerxes.
Artaxerxes is an opera in three acts composed by Thomas Arne set to an English adaptation (probably by Arne himself) of Metastasio's 1729 libretto Artaserse. The first English opera seria, Artaxerxes premiered on 2 February 1762 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and continued to be regularly performed until the late 1830s. Its plot is loosely based on the historical figure, Artaxerxes I of Persia who succeeded his father Xerxes I after his assassination by Artabanus.

Performance history

The opening night of Artaxerxes (2 February 1762) at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden proved very successful. The work was revived at the theatre the following year, although this second run was marred by a riot. On 24 February 1763 a mob protesting the abolition of half-price admissions stormed the theatre in the middle of the performance. According to a contemporary account in The Gentleman's Magazine:

Riot over the abolition of half price admission fees at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden during a 1763 performance of Artaxerxes.
The mischief done was the greatest ever known on any occasion of the like kind: all the benches of the boxes and pit being entirely tore up, the glasses and chandeliers broken, and the linings of the boxes cut to pieces. The rashness of the rioters was so great, that they cut away the wooden pillars between the boxes, so if the inside of them had not been iron, they would have brought down the galleries upon their heads.

By 1790, Artaxerxes had received well over 100 performances, including 48 in Dublin alone between 1765 and 1767. In the United States, the overture was played in Philadelphia as early as 1765, while arias from the opera were heard in New York City in 1767. The US premiere of the complete opera came on 31 January 1828 at the Park Theatre in New York City with a cast that included Elizabeth Austin as Semira. Artaxerxes remained in the London repertoire for over 70 years with regular revivals including those at the Drury Lane Theatre (1780, 1820, 1827, and 1828), Covent Garden (1813, 1827, and 1828), and the St James's Theatre (1836). The score for Artaxerxes had been published in 1762. However, it did not contain the recitatives or the final chorus. The original performing version of the score was lost in the fire that destroyed the Theatre Royal in 1808. After that date, performances of the work used a shortened version reconstructed by Henry Bishop and John Addison in 1813.
Notable modern revivals of the work include a 1962 performance in London's St. Pancras Town Hall as part of the St. Pancras Festival, a BBC concert performance in 1979, and another concert performance in 2002 by the Classical Opera Company conducted by Ian Page at St John's, Smith Square. To mark Thomas Arne's 300th birthday, a fully staged production of Artaxerxes was performed in October 2009 in the Linbury Theatre of London's Royal Opera House. The production was directed by Martin Duncan and designed by Johan Engels using a new performing edition of the score by Ian Page with a reconstruction of the final chorus by Duncan Druce. The cast included Christopher Ainsley as Artaxerxes, Rebecca Bottone, Caitlin Hulcup and Elizabeth Watts.

Roles and casting

Elizabeth Vestris en travesti as Artaxerxes in 1827

Artaxerxes was composed when the castrato singers were at their height. The title role (Artaxerxes) and that of Arbaces were written for the Italian castrati, Nicolò Peretti and Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci respectively. With the waning of the castrati, the title role was sung by women en travesti in the 19th century. In the 1827 and 1828 performances in London, Artaxerxes was sung by the contraltos Eliza Paton and Elizabeth Vestris. In modern performances the role is often taken by a counter-tenor. The more virtuosic role of Arbaces went through a considerable amount of casting instability in the 19th century. It was sometimes sung by sopranos, and at other times transposed for tenors such as John Braham who sang the role 1827. Considered too high for a modern counter-tenor, Arbaces was sung by a mezzo-soprano, Patrica Spence, in the 1995 Hyperion recording. The role was also sung by a mezzo-soprano in the 2009 Royal Opera House revival.


Mary Anne Paton as Mandane (1827)

The opera opens in a moonlit garden of Xerxes' palace. Mandane, the daughter of King Xerxes, and Arbaces, the son of the King's general Artabanes, are in love. Xerxes has opposed their marriage and banished Arbaces from the palace. Arbaces climbs the wall into the garden. As the young lovers express their love for each other and their despair at Arbaces' banishment, Artabanes arrives carrying a bloody sword. His fury at Xerxes' treatment of his son and his desire for Arbaces to become King have led him to assassinate Xerxes. Artabanes confesses the murder to Arbaces and exchanges his bloody sword for that of Arbaces.
Artaxerxes, the King's younger son, arrives with his guards. Artabanes tells him of his father's death and accuses Artaxerxes's older brother Darius of the murder, "Who but he at dead of night could penetrate The palace? Who could approach the royal bed? Nay, more, his royal ambition..." Artaxerxes commands Artabanes to avenge his father's death by killing Darius. Later in the garden, Artaxerxes expresses his love to Semira, the daughter of Artabanes and sister of Arbaces.
In the King's palace, the execution of Darius is announced. However, Rimenes (also in love with Semira) has Arbaces led into the chamber in chains, announcing that the bloody sword used to kill Xerxes had been found in his possession. Arbaces is now condemned to death. However, Artaxerxes, who had long been a friend of Arbaces, doubts his guilt. He releases Arbaces from prison and allows him to escape through a secret passage. Rimenes, encouraged by Artabanes, then goes off to lead a rebellion against Artaxerxes.
In the Temple of the Sun Artaxerxes, surrounded by his nobles, swears to maintain the rights, laws, and customs of his subjects and is about to pledge this by drinking from a sacred cup, unaware that Artabanes has poisoned the drink. Before Artaxerxes can drink from the cup, news arrives that Rimenes and his men are at the palace gates. The danger is averted when Arbaces kills the traitor, confirming to Artaxerxes that his friend is innocent. Artaxerxes then offers the sacred cup to Arbaces instead so that he may pledge his innocence.
Artabanes is now faced with seeing his son die or confessing the truth. He confesses to all that he has poisoned the cup, intending to kill Artaxerxes and that he had also assassinated Xerxes. Artabanes is led off in chains. Artaxerxes, out of his love for Semira and his gratitude to Arbaces, condemns their father to eternal exile rather than death. The opera ends with the two pairs of lovers reunited and the jubilation of all.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Arne - Artaxerxes - "The soldier tir'd" (Joan Sutherland) (1960)
A brilliant aria from a rather obscure English opera, "The soldier tir'd" was recorded only by a handfull of artists, including the dazzling Beverly Sills and the adorable Beverly Hoch. This recording, made before the fabled "Art of the Primadonna", finds Joan Sutherland in fresh voice
Oban Bach Choir and Orchestra performing at St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh
This is an excerpt from Thomas Arne's (1710-1778) Sacred Drama "Judith" performed by Oban Bach Choir and Orchestra under misucal director Norman Nicholson at St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh on 21 November 2010. This features the soprano solo "Not unto us" followed by the chorus "When Israel Wept". This performance was just extracts. However Oban Bach Choir and Orchestra performed the complete works in May 2010. This is believed to beits Scottish premiere. The work is currently unpublished, but Norman Nichilson has painstakedly put together the complete score over a number of years from original library manuscrpits and microfilm.
Thomas Arne - Sonata for harpsichord No. 8 in G major
Arne - Trio Sonatas 6 and 7
TH.A. ARNE, Harpsichord Concerto in G minor, La Tempestad
Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra No.5 in G minor [from Six Favourite Concertos, published in 1793]:
I. Largo 0:15
II. Allegro con spirito 2:22
III. Adagio 6:29
IV. Vivace 7:54

La Tempestad

Silvia Márquez [harpsichord]
Guillermo Peñalver [traverso]
Leo Rossi, Pablo Prieto [violins]
Antonio Clares [viola]
Mercedes Ruiz [cello]
Ventura Rico [violone]

TH. ARNE, Concerto for Keyboard and Orchestra in G minor, The English Concert/T. Pinnock
Concerto for Harpsichord, Violin I (4), Violin II (4), Viola (3), Violoncello (2), Double Bass in G Minor:
I. Largo-Allegro con spirito 0:15
II. Adagio 5:45
III. Vivace 7:09

The English Concert
Trevor Pinnock [harpsichord, director]

Arne - Concierto Para Clave 5 En Sol Menor
"Alfred" - 1740
Alfred is a sung stage work about Alfred the Great with music by Thomas Arne and a libretto by David Mallet and James Thomson. The work was initially devised as a masque in 1740 and was first performed at Cliveden, country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales, on 1 August 1740, to commemorate the accession of George I and the birthday of the Princess Augusta. Arne later revised the work turning it into an all-sung oratorio in 1745 and then an opera in 1753. It is best known for its finale "Rule, Britannia!".

In its original form, Alfred contained only seven musical numbers, including the famous patriotic song "Rule, Britannia!" With successive additions, Arne significantly expanded the music, and the final version was an all-sung opera in three acts. Today, the third and final version of the work is the one that is most often performed.
Frederick, a German prince who had grown up in Hanover, arrived in Britain as an adult and was on very bad terms with his father. He made considerable efforts to ingratiate himself and build a following among his subjects-to-be (although he never ultimately reigned, as he died before his father in 1751). A masque linking the prince with both the ancient hero-king Alfred the Great's victories over the Vikings, together with the contemporary issue of building British sea-power, went well with his political plans and aspirations.
Thomson was a Scottish poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in England and hoped to make his fortune at Court. He had an interest in helping foster a British identity, including and transcending the older English and Scottish identities.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arne - Alfred - Come calm content (Act 1)
Alfred - Come calm content (Act 1)

Libretto by David Mallet and James Thomson

Jennifer Smith, soprano - Eltruda, Edith
Christine Brandes, soprano - Emma, Spirit
David Daniels, countertenor - Prince Edward
Jamie MacDougall, tenor - Corin, Alfred

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Philharmonia Chorale
Nicholas McGegan

Arne - Alfred - Why beats my heart with such devotion (Act 1)
Arne - Alfred - A youth adorn'd with ev'ry art (Act 2)
Arne - Alfred - Arise, sweet messenger of the morn (Act 3)
Arne (1710-1778) - Alfred - See liberty, virtue and honour appearing (Act 3)
Thomas Arne Sonata in E major John Holloway Violin
Thomas Arne Sonata in E major

1. Adagio
2. Allegro ma cantatndo

Arne,Thomas Augustine ( 1710-1778 ) Trio Sonata Nº 5, Opus 3, em Ré Maior
Em 4 movimentos :
I Largo
II Andante
III Largo ed amoroso
IV Allegro ( Giga )

Victoria Antiga ( Conjunto de Câmara )

Flautas Doce : Letir Silva de Souza e Gracia Maria da Silva

Violinos : Lucio Silva de Souza e Karla Barros de Lacerda Fafá

Violoncelo : Ronaldo Sielemann

Contrabaixo : Michael Hochreiter

Cravo : Regina Nava

Estado do Espírito Santo - Brasil

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