Viola part from Music of Pageant & Patriotism - Arne, T. - Rule Britannia! & Trad. - The National Anthem (God Save the Queen) - arr. for Soprano & String Quartet by Gerald Manning

Thomas Arne
4 minutes
Classical music

RULE BRITANNIA Text: James Thomson (1700-1748) Music: Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778)

Composed by Thomas Augustine Arne in 1740 for his masque Alfred, 'RuIe, Britannia!' was first heard at a performance given at Cliefden House, Maidenhead - then the residence of Frederick, Prince of Wales - when the masque was given to celebrate the accession of George I and the birthday of the Princess Augusta. This most popular of all English national airs was first heard in London in 1745 and achieved instant popularity. So well known was it that Handel even quoted it in his Occasional Oratorio in the following year when it was sung to the words, 'War shall cease, welcome peace!

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM God Save the King [Queen]

Some scholars believe that a Dr. Henry Carey wrote both words and music in 1740, but there is some conjecture about this, however we do know with some certainty that the melody first appeared in print in 1744, and that the earliest recorded performance of it was in an arrangement by Thomas Arne in 1745 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Several composers have incorporated into their own works including Beethoven, Weber, Paganini, Marschner, Brahms, and Debussy; Elgar and Benjamin Britten have both made choral arrangements of it.

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