Clarion launches its 60th anniversary season with a celebratory performance of Handel’s thrilling Royal Fireworks and Water Music. With two of the most beloved orchestral works of the Baroque era, this concert will serve as a fanfare ushering in this milestone season.
The Water Music suite was written in 1717 for King George I’s royal cruise up the Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea and back, with music for the journey provided by a large orchestra on an accompanying barge. So pleased was the king that the concert on the river was repeated several times. Some 30 years later, in 1749, Handel composed Music for the Royal Fireworks, celebrating the end of the War of the Austrian Succession. The performance was not as grand as planned, as rain caused the spectacle to fizzle, and one wing of the performance pavilion caught fire. Nevertheless, the work became a favorite among audiences over the centuries that followed.