ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
George Frideric Handel - Royal Fireworks & Water Music


GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL - MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS - WATER MUSIC - ROBERT KING (Conductor) - THE KING'S CONSORT - Hyperion (Helios Series) CDH55375

This recording of the Music for the Royal Fireworks was made using period instruments based on the original 1749 scoring for 24 oboes, 12 bassoons, 9 trumpets, 9 horns, 4 sets of timpani, and 2 giant double drums. During the 18th century, fireworks must have made quite an impression on the crowds of people watching and hearing them. Well, this recording makes quite an impression itself. There is a palpable sense of occasion in this performance. A perfect blend of royal pomp and just plain fun and celebration. The playing is full of gusto and bounce, with a perfectly balanced recording. Party on!

As for the Water Music, every note here just dances off the page in a sprightly, well engineered recording, played with the same panache and life affirming pleasure. First rate music making!

These two iconic works from the Baroque period, were previously only available on 2 separate full-price CDs. As of now, April 2009, Hyperion have re-issued them together on a single CD in their Helios Series, at mid-price. Yet another reason to party and celebrate.

Jean-Yves Duperron