Because Handel enjoyed such success with operas and oratorios, he rarely composed strictly orchestral works; in fact, if it had not been for the personal requests of George I and George II, Handel would never have written the two beloved masterpieces reproduced in this volume. Early in his reign, George I induced Handel to compose the Water Music to accompany royal boating parties; for George II, many years later, Handel composed the accompaniment to the Royal Fireworks celebrating the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.
Today, these two royally decreed masterworks are among the most popular Baroque instrumental works performed and recorded. Grove's Dictionary calls the Water Music "splendidly inventive and sonorous" and concludes that "the Music for the Royal Fireworks is still grander. Now, in one remarkably affordable volume, here are the full scores reprinted without alteration from the authoritative Deutsche Händelgesellschaft edition of 1886. Musicians, students, and musicologists can finally study and enjoy both scores with Handel's final arrangements and orchestration untouched by modern rescoring or editing of any kind: Water Music incorporates at least two and probably three suites from around 1717 composed in different keys (F, D, and G) for different instruments, a large woodwind (including double bassoon), three timpani, and a powerful string section.
Any musician or fan of the Baroque or of Handel in particular will welcome this exciting inexpensive playing edition of two of the best-loved works of the period — today more popular than ever. Large, readable noteheads, ample margins, opaque paper and permanent binding make this a fundamental addition to every musician's library and absolutely essential for the Handel devotee.