Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759) Water Music in F major HWV 348-350
former name “Concerto grosso No. 25” – Urtext edited by Wilhelm Pfannkuch [orch] duration: 45'
1(picc).2.0.1. – 18.104.22.168. – str – bc
Handel composed his “Water Music” for none other than King George I who requested a concert for guests invited to his pleasure cruise on the Thames.
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According to the “Daily Courant”, the premiere took place as follows: “On Wednesday Evening, at about 8, the King took to Water at Whitehall in an open Barge, wherein were Dutchess of Bolton, The Dutchess of New Castle, the Countess of Godolphin, Madam Kilmaseck, and the Earl of Orkney. And went up the River towards Chelsea. Many other of Barges with Person of Quality attended, and so the great Number of Boats, that the whole River in a manner was couver’d; a City Company’s Barge was employ’d for the Musick, wherein were 50 Instruments of all sorts, Who play’d all the way from Lambeth (while the Barges drove with the Tide without Rowing, as far as Chelsea) the finest Symphonies, compos’d express for this Occasion, by Mr Hendel: which his Majesty liked so well, that he caus’d it to be play’d over three times in going and returning. At Eleven his Majesty came again into Barge, and return’d the same Way, the Musick continuing to play till he landed.”