Editors’ Notes These are two of the prolific baroque composer George Frederic Handel’s best known orchestral works. Water Music was famously played on a 1717 royal excursion on the Thames River: while King George I’s party traveled on one boat, a group of musicians performed the piece on a nearby boat. Music for the Royal Fireworks was commissioned by King George II to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which marked the end of the War of Austrian Succession. Evidently the fireworks display didn’t go well at the 1749 event that celebrated the signing, but the musical performance was a success. The Catalan conductor and performer Jordi Savall does wonders with Water Music on this 1993 recording. (After beginning his career as an early music specialist, he expanded his repertoire to include the work of various baroque composers, along with Haydn, Beethoven, and others.) Savall coaxes appealing timbres and great rhythmic drive out of the excellent period-instrument ensemble, Le Concert des Nations. And the conductor imbues Fireworks with a distinctive stateliness as he leads the group through a striking rendition.

SONG
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: I. Prelude
1
2:15
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: II. Menuet 1
2
1:43
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: III. Menuet 2
3
2:26
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: IV. Rigaudon 1
4
1:04
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: V. Rigaudon 2
5
1:24
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: VI. Menuet 1
6
0:55
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: VII. Menuet 2
7
1:10
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: VIII. Gigue 1
8
0:30
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: IX. Gigue 2
9
1:11
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: X. Bourrée
10
1:03
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: XI. Lentement
11
2:13
 
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F, HWV 348: XII. Alla Hornpipe
12
4:03
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: I. Ouverture
13
3:24
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: II. Adagio e Staccato
14
2:06
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: III. Allegro
15
2:23
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: IV. Andante, Allegro
16
4:47
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: V. Menuet
17
3:24
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: VI. Air
18
2:53
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: VII. Bourrée
19
1:45
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: VIII. Hornpipe
20
2:28
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: IX. Aria
21
3:41
 
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D, HWV 349: X. Menuet
22
3:45
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: I. Overture
23
4:09
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: II. Allegro, Lentement, Allegro
24
5:39
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: III. Bourrée
25
1:54
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: IV. La Paix
26
3:19
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: V. La Réjouissance
27
3:52
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: VI. Minuet 1
28
1:50
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: VII. Minuet 2
29
1:21
 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: VIII. Minuet 1 Da Capo
30
0:58