Music for the Royal Fireworks HWV 351
by George Frideric Handel
Chamber Orchestra - Digital Sheet Music

Item Number: 21305595
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Chamber Orchestra - Level 5 - Digital Download

SKU: A0.742471

Composed by George Frideric Handel. Arranged by Arte Nova Music Lab. Baroque,Graduation,Standards,World. Score and parts. 64 pages. Arte Nova Music Lab #4597299. Published by Arte Nova Music Lab (A0.742471).

The Music for the Royal Fireworks (HWV 351) is a suite for wind instruments composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the fireworks in London's Green Park on 27 April 1749. It was to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) in 1748.

During the preparations Handel and the Duke of Montagu, the Master-General of the Ordnance and the officer responsible for the Royal Fireworks, had an argument about adding violins. The duke made clear to Handel that King George had a preference for only martial instruments and drums, and hoped there would be "no fiddles". Handel omitted the string instruments against his will. Also against Handel's will, there was a full rehearsal of the music in Vauxhall Gardens and not in Green Park. On 21 April 1749 an audience, claimed to be over twelve thousand people, each paying two shillings and six pence (half a crown) rushed to get there, causing a three-hour traffic jam of carriages on London Bridge, the only vehicular route to the area south of the river.

Six days later, on 27 April, the performing musicians were in a specially constructed building that had been designed by Servandoni, a theatre designer, who used four Italians to assist him. Andrea Casali and Andrea Soldi designed the decorations. The fireworks themselves were devised and controlled by Gaetano Ruggieri andGiuseppe Sarti, both from Bologna. Charles Frederick was the controller, captain Thomas Desaguliers was the chief fire master. The display was not as successful as the music itself: the weather was rainy causing many misfires and in the middle of the show the right pavilion caught fire. Also, a woman's clothes were set on alight by a stray rocket and other fireworks burned two soldiers and blinded a third. Yet another soldier had blown his hand off during an earlier rehearsal for the 101 cannons which were used during the event.

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