Sunday, March 5, 2017
Thomas Arne - Rule Britannia!
His father did not approve of his musical proclivities as a child, and so young Thomas smuggled a spinet (a small harpsichord) into his room. Using his handkerchief to muffle the sounds, he practiced while his family slept. He would sneak into the opera, where he met composer Michael Festing who took an interest in the lad and taught him to play the violin. Working in a lawyer's office, he formed the 18th century version of a garage band. When his father caught him, Festing persuaded him to support his son't talent.
And quite a talent it was. Like I said, you've heard his music. Most commonly played no doubt is God Save The King, the UK national anthem. Least commonly played is likely A Hunting We Will Go, which few don't hear as children. But today's piece is the Royal Navy's unofficial theme.
Thomas Arne died on this day in 1778.