For classical music lovers, and in particular, Baroque music lovers, today, July 17th, marks a bloody good day as it is the 300th anniversary of George Frideric Handel’s Water Music Suite.
The work premiered on July 17, 1717, in response to King George I’s request for a concert on the River Thames. Wanting to experience music surrounded by the beauty and additional sounds of nature, the king was so pleased with the Water Music that he ordered it to be repeated at least three times, both on the trip upstream to Chelsea and on the return to Whitehall. – via www.allclassical.org
Sir Thomas Beecham, whom the BBC said was Britain’s first international conductor, perfectly sums up Handel’s musical genius: “He wrote Italian music better than any Italian, French music better than any Frenchman, English music better than any Englishman, and with the exception of Bach, outrivalled all other Germans.”
Beethoven once said of the composer: “Handel was the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head, and kneel before his tomb.” With that, nothing more needs to be said.
For those unfamiliar with the music, included below is a 3 minute introductory slice of deliciousness from his Water Music Suite, with the recording of the entire Water Music Suite below that.
Handel Water Music: Hornpipe; Festspiel Orchester Göttingen
G.F.Handel – Water Music (complete)
Photo credit: By John Faber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons