Sunday, 17 July 2022

hwv 348, 349, 350 (10. 000)

Premiering on this day in 1717 with great fanfare and accompanying the royal retinue of George I on a barge down the Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea, Georg Friedrich Hรคndel conducted a separate orchestral raft of about fifty musicians and their instruments to play the Water Music, three suites prefaced by an overture in the French style. Crowds lined the banks to join in and the event was reported by the Courant, London’s first daily, and the king was so pleased with performance, he requested no fewer than two encores during the four hour tour. One surmises that such quasi-public fรชtes were to help the aging king retain his relevance in relation to the charasmatic heir, George II.