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All About Handel's Water Music

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Handel's Water Music stands alongside his Messiah and Music for the Royal Fireworks as one of the best-known works of a composer who went from operas to oratorios. The now-famous Baroque suite commissioned for a king’s ceremonial boat ride on the River Thames was first performed during the summer of 1717.  Five years later, it was brought inside to London’s Stationers Hall. But whether the audience heard all or just part of the hour-long suite remains a mystery.


Steven Zohn, professor of music at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance, adds context to Handel’s Water Music.