Handel’s Water Music is a collection of three suites for orchestra. Our listening piece from this larger work is “Alla Hornpipe,” the 2nd movement from the Suite in . This dance is in triple meter, in a fast tempo, and played by an orchestra comprising winds, brass, strings, and percussion. [Handel, Water Music, –0: 25]. Handel’s Water Music is made up of three orchestral suites, written for an outdoor a jaunty ‘Bourée’, a stately ‘Minuet’ and ends with the grand ‘Alla Hornpipe’.

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The Water Hprnpipe is a collection of orchestral movements, often published as three suitescomposed by George Frideric Handel. The Water Music is scored for a relatively large orchestra, making it suitable for outdoor performance.

It is divided into three suites:. There is alls for the different arrangement found in Chrysander ‘s Gesellschaft edition of Handel’s works in volume 47, published inwhere the movements from the “suites” in D and G were mingled and published as one work with HWV This sequence derives from Samuel Arnold’s first edition of the complete score in and the manuscript copies dating from Handel’s lifetime.

Chrysander’s edition also contains an earlier version of the first two movements of HWV in the key of F major composed in originally scored for two natural horns, two oboes, bassoon, strings and continuowhere in addition hxndel the horn fanfares and orchestral responses, the al,a version contained an elaborate concerto-like first violin part.

At about 8 p. The rising tide propelled the barge upstream without rowing.

Water Music – Wikipedia

Another barge, provided by the City of Londoncontained about 50 musicians who performed Handel’s music. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. According to The Courant”the whole River in a manner was covered” with boats and barges.


On arriving at Chelsea, the king left his barge, then returned to it at about 11 p. Horhpipe 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, until he landed again at Whitehall.

Handel’s orchestra is believed to have performed from about 8 p. It was rumoured that the Water Music was composed to help King George steal some of the London spotlight back from the prince who, at the time, worried that his time to rule would be shortened by his father’s long life, hornpiipe throwing lavish hrnpipe and dinners to compensate for it. The Water Music’s first performance on the Thames was the King’s way of reminding Hande that he was still there and showing he could carry out gestures even grander than his son’s.

Alla Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music

Handel had been employed by the future king George while he was still Elector of Hanoverbefore he succeeded to the British throne. The composer supposedly fell out of favour for moving to London during Queen Anne ‘s reign.

This story was first related by Handel’s early biographer John Mainwaring ; although it may have some foundation in fact, the tale as told by Mainwaring has been doubted by some Handel scholars.

Another legend has it that the Elector of Hanover approved of Handel’s permanent hornpipd to London, knowing the separation between them would be temporary. Both were aware the Elector of Hanover would eventually succeed to the British throne after Queen Anne’s death. From toWalt Disney World featured movements from both installments of Water Music as the background music for the Electrical Water Pageanta parade of sea creatures lit up with electric lights off the coast of the Magic Kingdom.


A performance of Water Music plays a major role in the movie The Madness of King Georgehande 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 badlyculminating in a physical altercation with the Prince of Wales, leading to allla Prince of Wales asking to be named Regent.

There are many recordings.

The Music for the Royal Fireworkscomposed 32 years later for another outdoor performance this time, for George Lala of Great Britain for the fireworks in London’s Green Parkon 27 Aprilhas often been paired with the Water Music on recordings.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about suites by Handel. For the Telemann suite, see Water Music Telemann. For other topics, see Water Music al,a.

Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Disney WorldFodors. Water Music Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Retrieved from ” https: Suites by George Frideric Handel European court festivities compositions. CS1 German-language sources de CS1: Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 24 Octoberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Adagio hornpope staccato 3. Problems playing these files?