Princess Amelia, a naughty royal who secretly birthed future composer Samuel Arnold
August 10, 2019
Samuel Arnold was an English composer and organist. He was a prolific composer of the London stage and for the public gardens. There is no confirmation, but rumours persist his mother was the Princess Amelia, the daughter of King George (“King George the Mad”), who was a student of Handel. Apparently, she had a liaison with a composer, Thomas Arnold. Samuel was the result, whom I’m guessing was raised by his father, and therefore followed in his footsteps and became a composer, too.
Arnold was active in the theatre scene, composing music for all kinds of stage works. He was also the organist for Westminster Abbey and conductor of the Academy of Ancient Music and founded the Graduates Meeting, a society of academic musicians which counted Haydn as a member. Perhaps his greatest achievement, given many of his works did not survive today, was editing a complete Handel edition, 180 parts of which were completed.
He was buried in Westminster Abbey, joining Oliver Cromwell, Henry Purcell, Isaac Newton, and George Frideric Handel.
This Gigue appears in student books, and is played here by Daniel Siddle. Enjoy all 29 seconds of it!
Samuel Arnold was born August 10, 1740, in London, England, and died there October 22, 1802.