Handel’s Water Music 300th anniversary

Today is the 300th anniversary of the Handel’s Water Music premiere.

Handel’s Water Music was composed for King George I’s progress up the Thames on Saturday evening 17 July 1717.

The King embarked on a borrowed City livery barge at Whitehall Steps, near the PS Tattershall Castle’s present mooring, at 8pm to be rowed  up to Chelsea.

It was a river party with George Frideric Handel and an orchestra on board.

The performance started as the barge was passing Lambeth Palace.

So the actual anniversary hour must be 7.15 BST.

Tonight, Monday 17 July 2017, there will be a re-enactment when a large party with a 12 piece baroque orchestra sets out on the Golden Jubilee party boat.

BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme will be broadcasting live from the river at 7.15pm.

The King was so pleased with the new music that there were at least three encores 1717 as he was rowed to Lord Ranelagh’s Chelsea house for supper and back to Whitehall.

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