Britannia! Rule

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Song by Arne to words by James Thomson, f.p. in masque Alfred at Maidenhead, 1 Aug. 1740. Handel quoted it 6 years later in his Occasional Oratorio. Beethoven introduced it into his Battle Sym. (Wellington's Victory) and wrote 5 pf. variations in D on it (pubd. 1804). Wagner wrote an ov. based on it (1837). It has been suggested that it is the ‘hidden theme’ behind Elgar's Enigma Variations (Elgar quoted it in The Music Makers).

Subjects: Music.

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