God Save the King: a Gallery

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This gallery of renditions of “God Save the King” highlights a few of the many versions of the anthem to be found in Osborn MSS 146, the Hanover royal music library, and the tremendous variety of contexts in which it was set and performed.  In the Polish composer Karol Kurpinski’s Polonaise of 1819, it is linked with “Rule Britannia,” the national anthem written in 1740 by James Thomson and composed by Thomas Arne, and dedicated to the infant Duke of Cumberland, George Frederick Alexander Charles Ernest Augustus, later George V of Hanover.  In one of the printed editions shown here, dated to the Jacobite rebellions of 1745-1746, it becomes a “Loyal Song Sung at Both Theatres.”  A manuscript version, also probably dating to 1745, is set for two voices, in only one of the several arrangements of the piece.  Last, a printed version of October, 1809, marks the King’s Jubilee, and one of many performances and settings of “God Save the King.”

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