Vesa-Matti Leppänen Director/Violin
Telemann Water Music, TWV 55:C3
Handel Water Music, HWV 348-350
Sense the waves crashing and the current pushing you along in these two great works from the late Baroque period.
Telemann’s Water Music is an inventive orchestral suite and highly descriptive work in ten movements. You can feel the ocean’s movement, mythological water deities sleeping, in love, joking, angry and, then, finally, the happy sailors at the Hamburg port. It celebrates the importance of the sea and the port and how both provided prosperity and livelihood for the city.
An evening trip up London’s river Thames seems an unlikely place to debut one of Handel’s most well-known pieces, but this is exactly the story behind Handel’s Water Music. King George I requested that Handel write a piece of music to be performed on a barge on the Thames, as he and his aristocratic friends travelled up the river on a summer’s evening in 1717. As the river Thames filled with boats and ships, Handel and his orchestra performed the masterpiece to celebrate the beauty of the river and the reign of Handel’s friend.