Updates? Many portions of Water Music have become familiar in popular culture. For example, the lilting waltz-time minuet and the lively duple-time bourrée were historically French dances; the minuet, however, was an aristocratic form, while the bourrée was known in both folk and courtly circles. King George's companions in the royal barge included Anne Vaughan, Duchess of Bolton, Harriet Pelham-Holles, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull, Sophia von Kielmansegg, Countess of Darlington, Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough, and George Douglas-Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney. The groupings contain 5 to 10 movements of varying musical character, and, in some cases, distinct national provenance and social association. It is customary, however, to group the movements according to their keys and instrumentations, creating three shorter suites—in F major, in D major, and in G major. Betsy Schwarm is a music historian based in Colorado. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often published as three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. In recent years, performers have tended to avoid versions such as that of Hamilton Harty, being influenced by ideas regarding historically informed performance. She serves on the music faculty of Metropolitan State University of Denver and gives pre-performance talks for Opera Colorado and the Colorado Symphony... George Frideric Handel, oil on canvas by Thomas Hudson. The Water Music opens with a French overture and includes minuets, bourrées, and hornpipes. This sequence derives from Samuel Arnold's first edition of the complete score in 1788 and the manuscript copies dating from Handel's lifetime. Most of the pieces were originally intended for outdoor performance, and the work premiered on a barge on the River Thames , where it provided entertainment for a royal cruise hosted by King George I of Great Britain on July 17, … The Water Music is scored for a relatively large orchestra, making it suitable for outdoor performance. Handel: Water Music George Frideric Handel (Composer), Charles Mackerras (Conductor), Orchestra of St. Luke's (Orchestra) The bouncy duple-time hornpipe, with its intricate, often syncopated rhythms, was a dance of the British Isles. For the Telemann suite, see, Beecham, Sir Thomas. [citation needed]. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. The first performance of the Water Music is recorded in The Daily Courant, the first British daily newspaper. Water Music, suite of short pieces for small orchestra by German-born English composer George Frideric Handel, known particularly for its highly spirited movements in dance form. 1 in F Major, National Public Radio - Handel's Flood Of Melodies: 'Water Music'. Omissions? When George I planned his barge party, he asked Handel to provide music in the form of an orchestral composition for about 50 musicians. Corrections? A performance of Water Music plays a major role in the movie The Madness of King George, in which King George III exhibits very erratic and inappropriate behavior at a concert, yelling at the orchestra to play louder (and eventually taking the place of the harpsichordist, playing very badly), culminating in a physical altercation with the Prince of Wales, leading to the Prince of Wales asking to be named Regent. Both were aware the Elector of Hanover would eventually succeed to the British throne after Queen Anne's death.[8]. Another barge, provided by the City of London, contained about 50 musicians who performed Handel's music. Black Friday Sale! [11], This article is about suites by Handel. According to The Courant, "the whole River in a manner was covered" with boats and barges. Handel's orchestra is believed to have performed from about 8 p.m. until well after midnight, with only one break while the king went ashore at Chelsea. The Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749), composed 32 years later for another outdoor performance (this time, for George II of Great Britain for the fireworks in London's Green Park, on 27 April 1749), has often been paired with the Water Music on recordings. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The king was so pleased with Water Music that he ordered it to be repeated at least three times, both on the trip upstream to Chelsea and on the return, until he landed again at Whitehall.[2]. The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often published as three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. Most of the pieces were originally intended for outdoor performance, and the work premiered on a barge on the River Thames, where it provided entertainment for a royal cruise hosted by King George I of Great Britain on July 17, 1717.

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