Wednesday, 25 June 2008

115. George Friedric Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749)


Title: Musick For the Royal Fireworks
Performer: Kings's Consort
Director: Robert King
Year: 1989


Wow, this is Handel at his most epic, particularly in his amazing overture, where he produces some of his most famous music, but also some of his most bombastic and catchy stuff. You just sing along with it throughout.

This recording is a particularly good one at bringing out the majesty of it all, Robert King throws away strings and sticks to the drums, brass and wind instruments which represent how it would have been originally played in all its glory.

This is like the last great explosion of Baroque pomp, now that the classical age is fast approaching, and you couldn't have much better than this, really. It is music that touches the little epic bone the we all have. An amazing recording for a truly astounding piece of work.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The performing musicians were in a specially constructed building which had been designed by Servandoni, a theatre designer. The music provided a background for the royal fireworks. However the display was not as successful as the music. The enormous wood building caught fire due to the fall of the bas relief of George II. However, the music had been performed publicly six days earlier, on 21 April 1749 when there was a full rehearsal of the music at Vauxhall Gardens. Over twelve thousand people, each paying 2s 6d, rushed for it, causing a three-hour traffic jam of carriages, after the main route to the area south of the river was closed (after the new London Bridge's central arch collapsed and it had to be closed). The work is in five movements.

A very young Robert King directs Music for the Royal Fireworks:

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