THOMAS AUGUSTINE ARNE (1710 - 1778)
One of the leading English composers of his time, and also a violinist,
Arne wrote a great deal of theatre music, attempting to establish
English opera, as well as composing instrumental and vocal music.
Above all Arne is remembered popularly for his patriotic composition Rule, Britannia, written for the dramatic work Alfred of 1740 and for his settings of Shakespearean songs, including Where the bee sucks from The Tempest, When daisies pied from Love's Labour's Lost and Blow, blow, thou winter wind from As You Like It. The comic opera Thomas and Sally or The Sailor's Return followed a 1760 revival by Arne of Gay's enduringly popular The Beggar's Opera.