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William Herbert (tenor)
Léon Goossens (oboe)
Arnold Richardson (organ)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
(Leader, Paul Beard )
Conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent
From the Royal Albert Hall, London
Part 1
The story associated with the Water Music is well known: how Handel, as Court musician to the Elector of Hanover, outstayed his leave in England; and how he found himself in a difficult position when the Elector became King George I of England. But when the King heard Handel's music, written for a royal procession of barges on the river, he was so delighted with it that he forgave the composer and granted him a pension. This story is now discredited. Handel was not deprived of the King's favour for very long; and the Water Music dates from the year 1717, three years after George I came to the throne. According to a contemporary document, it was written for an occasion when George I and ' many persons of quality ' went in barges from Whitehall to Chelsea and back again. In one barge were * fifty instruments of all sorts who played all the way from Lambeth the finest symphonies, composed express for this occasion by Mr. Handel.' We are also told that the music was so strongly approved by His Majesty that he commanded it to be repeated, once before and once after supper.' The original suite comprised some twenty pieces; Sir Hamilton Harty , when making his arrangement for a modem orchestra, chose six, the third being a Bourree and the fourth a Hornpipe. Harold Rutland


Tenor: William Herbert
Oboe: Léon Goossens
Oboe: Arnold Richardson
Leader: Paul Beard
Conducted By: Sir Malcolm Sargent
Unknown: Hamilton Harty

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BBC Home Service Basic, 3 August 1949 19.30

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