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Music for the Royal Fireworks

The Fireworks music was composed in 1748 and for King George II. It was performed, with fireworks, to celebrate the Peace of Aix-la-Chappelle (modern Aachen) which concluded the UK’s participation in the War of the Austrian Succession. This had led to domestic political turmoil and mass resignations from the Cabinet. The suite includes movements named The Peace and The Rejoicing. George II saw his son Frederick as a rival, but was eventually succeeded by his grandson as George III. Frederic died relatively young after being struck on the head by a cricket ball.

The Water Music

George I came to the throne on 1714 as the first Hanoverian king following the extinction of the line of Stuarts, just as the United Kingdom had become a major political and military power in Europe following its successful participation in the War of the Spanish Succession. By 1717 King George wanted to shore up his power, feeling threatened by rivalry with his son Prince George, the future George II. A display of public entertainment would be ideal for this purpose, and he commanded the performance of music to entertain himself and his aristocratic guests as they progressed along the Thames. The musicians who performed the piece were ordered to repeat the music several times, and must have been exhausted by the end.

 

The Ancient & Modern Consort has a vacancy for bassoon.

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Performing at the Horniman Museum
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