Thomas Arne

born: 1710
died: 5 March 1778
country: United Kingdom

Thomas Arne is best known for the popular patriotic song, "Rule, Britannia!", and his musical settings of songs from the plays of William Shakespeare.

He was born in the Covent Garden area of London, to a family that had prospered in the upholstery business. He was educated at Eton College, and was interested in music from his earliest youth. His sister, Susannah Maria Arne, was a famous contralto, who performed in some of his works, including his first opera, Rosamund, performed in 1733. He taught her to sing, and she first performed with him in 1732, along with their brother Richard. In 1736, Arne married singer Cecilia Young, whose sister, Isabella, married the composer 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 first performed.

In 1750, after an argument with David Garrick, Susannah left Drury Lane for Covent Garden Theatre, and her brother followed. In 1755, he separated from his wife, who, he alleged, was mentally ill. He had in the meantime begun a relationship with one of his pupils, Charlotte Brent, a soprano and former child prodigy, who performed in some of his works. She later married a violinist. In 1777, shortly before his death, Arne and his wife were reconciled. They had one son, Michael Arne.

He is buried at St Paul's, Covent Garden, London.

Albums

Arne: Artaxerxes
CDD220732CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Arne: Artaxerxes
CKD358Download only
Arne: Dr Arne at Vauxhall Gardens
CDA66237Archive Service
Arne: Six Favourite Concertos
CDH55251Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Arias for Guadagni
Studio Master: CDA67924Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
English 18th-century Violin Sonatas
CDA66583Archive Service
Fairest Isle
CDA67115Archive Service
Linley: Cantatas & Theatre Music
CDH55256Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Orpheus with his lute
CDA67450
Songs to Shakespeare
CDA66480Archive Service
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 1
This album is not yet available for downloadHYP12Super-budget price sampler — Deleted
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
This album is not yet available for downloadHYP202CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted

Complete works available for download

ArtaxerxesClassical Opera, Ian Page (conductor)
Concerto No 1 in C majorPaul Nicholson (harpsichord/virginals), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra, Paul Nicholson (conductor)
Concerto No 2 in G majorPaul Nicholson (organ), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra, Paul Nicholson (conductor)
Concerto No 3 in A majorPaul Nicholson (piano), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra, Paul Nicholson (conductor)
Concerto No 4 in B flat majorPaul Nicholson (organ), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra, Paul Nicholson (conductor)
Concerto No 5 in G minorPaul Nicholson (harpsichord/virginals), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra, Paul Nicholson (conductor)
Concerto No 6 in B flat majorPaul Nicholson (piano), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra, Paul Nicholson (conductor)
Cymon and IphigeniaRichard Morton (tenor), The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)
Frolic and freeRichard Morton (tenor), The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)
Honour, riches, marriage-blessingCatherine Bott (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Jenny 'An Agreeable Musical Choice'Richard Morton (tenor), The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)
On a day, alack the dayAnthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Solo in E majorThe Locatelli Trio
The lover's recantationEmma Kirkby (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)
The MorningEmma Kirkby (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (conductor)
To fair Fidele's grassy tombCatherine Bott (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
When daisies pied and violets blueCatherine Bott (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
When icicles hang on the wallCatherine Bott (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Where the bee sucks, there lurk ICatherine Bott (soprano), The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

Alfred (Arne)
An Ode upon dedicating a building to Shakespeare (Arne)
Artaxerxes (Arne)
Concerto No 1 in C major (Arne)
Concerto No 2 in G major (Arne)
Concerto No 3 in A major (Arne)
Concerto No 4 in B flat major (Arne)
Concerto No 5 in G minor (Arne)
Concerto No 6 in B flat major (Arne)
Cymon and Iphigenia (Arne)
Frolic and free (Arne)
Honour, riches, marriage-blessing (Arne)
Jenny 'An Agreeable Musical Choice' (Arne)
Jenny, bright as the day and as buxom as May  
Love in a village (Arne)
Much Ado About Nothing (Arne)
Music for The Tempest (Linley Jr./Arne/Jackson)
Near a thick grove, whose deep embow'ring shade  
On a day, alack the day (Arne)
Rule, Britannia  
Sigh no more, ladies  
Solo in E major (Arne)
The Desert Island (Arne)
The glittering sun begins to rise  
The glitt'ring sun  
The kind appointment Celia made  
The lover's recantation (Arne)
The miller of Dee  
The Morning (Arne)
There was a jolly miller once lived on the River Dee  
Thou soft flowing Avon  
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb (Arne)
Vengeance, O come inspire me!  
What tho' his guilt  
When Britain first at heaven's command  
When daisies pied and violets blue (Arne)
When icicles hang on the wall (Arne)
Where the bee sucks, there lurk I (Arne)