Thomas Augustine Arne

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Born: 12 March 1710 — London — England
Died: 5 March 1778 — London — England
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Rule Brittania, March of the British Grenadiers, etc. Lived during (rise?) of the British Empire and wrote several pieces reflecting the patriotic ferver of this time.

(thanks to Samir R. Akhtar <srakhtar(at)>)


His birth date is uncertain. He was baptized on May 28, but his actual birthday is usually given as March 12.

Arne was a distinguished keyboardist and composer in 18th century England. He was the leading figure in the theatrical music of England after the death of Handel, and was also a recognized teacher, with Charles Burney as his most famous student. As a composer his strength was his sense of melody.

He attempted to establish English opera "in the Italian style," not with a great deal of success. He wasn’t the first to try such a mixture of styles, but his Artaxerxes was the only hybrid of this type to survive into the 19th century. His sole opera in Italian was a failure.

A great deal of his musical output is contained in pasticcios and English theater pieces and comic operas. In addition to his theatrical works, he also wrote a few sacred pieces, several harpsichord "lessons," and harpsichord and organ concertos for his son to play.

As a person, Arne lacked several desirable traits. In general terms, he was not a nice man. He was tight with money and his family life was often rocky. He was sometimes harsh in his treatment of his sister, the well-known singer Susannah Cibber. By 1754, his marriage had reached its snapping point, and it was agreed that Mrs Arne, also a singer, would remain in Dublin while Arne returned to London, he having agreed to provide her with forty pounds a year. When he ran into financial difficulties, she threatened legal procedings. It was, for many years, not a happy union; however, the two of them were reconciled in October of 1777, five months before Arne died. In his will he left everything to "my beloved wife Cecilia and my only son Michael."

(contribution by Keith Knop <KNOKE(at)>)


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Dying days:
(1910) Maurice Ravel: Premiere of Ma Mère l'Oye for two pianos, in Paris, France.
(1958) Heitor Villa-Lobos: Premiere of Symphony no. 12, in Washington D.C., USA.
(1985) Alfred Schnittke: Premiere of Concerto Grosso no. 3, in Moscow, Russia.

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Picture of Thomas Augustine Arne.
(Sent by Jeffrey H. Feldman)

Sheet music for Arne

[details ←] The Lass with the Delicate Air, vocal,
[details ←] Twelve Songs, Book 2, piano, organ, vocal,
[details ←] Twelve Songs, Book 1, piano, organ, vocal,
[details ←] Air from Comus, tuba,
[details ←] 20 Songs (Songs for each voice type), vocal,
[details ←] Morning (Solo Cantata), vocal,
[details ←] The Bach Period (score), piano, harpsichord,
[details ←] Eight Keyboard Sonatas, piano, organ, harpsichord,
[details ←] Now Phoebus sinketh in the West (From Comus) (Eb), vocal,
[details ←] Soldier Tired of War’s Alarms, vocal,
[details ←] Air from Comus
[details ←] Sonate in B Flat, piano,
[details ←] The Masque of Comus Overture - full score
[details ←] Short Duets - Book 1
[details ←] Short Duets - Book 2
[details ←] Sonate in A, piano,
[details ←] When Daisies Pied
[details ←] 6 Songs. OEE 2
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Arne: Alfred
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Thomas Arne: Four Symphonies
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Arne: Complete Trio Sonatas
Classical Music : Arne: Complete Trio Sonatas
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A Grand Concert of Musick - Archiv Produktion Compactotheque
Classical Music : A Grand Concert of Musick - Archiv Produktion Compactotheque
by: Trevor Pinnock, Simon Standag's Price: $8.79
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Erskine/Arne/Collett/Smethergell/Abel/March: 18th Century British Symphonies
Classical Music : Erskine/Arne/Collett/Smethergell/Abel/March: 18th Century British Symphonies
from: Gaudeamus/ ASV's Price: $39.99
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