Handel & Telemann: Water Music
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Ten years ago Robert King and The King's Consort made a stunning recording of Handel's Fireworks Music; now comes the turn of the Water Music, and the results are even more impressive.

George Philipp Telemann's Wassermusik (commonly known as 'Hamburger Ebb und Fluth' – an oblique reference to the local method of sewage disposal!) was composed for a grand celebration of seafaring life during 1723. The music was noted at the time for being 'uncommonly well-suited to the occasion', and not least for its subject-matter: Telemann guides his audience through a pageant of aquatic folklore and meteorology.

Six years earlier Handel had been commissioned for a directly comparable occasion: an enormous party on the river Thames given by George I. A large orchestra was present on the musicians' barge: a good-size string section and a substantial wind presence. The sound of a large baroque wind band produces a magnificent sonority. Similarly, a colourful continuo force on the river seems probable. The rhythmic impetus of a pair of baroque guitars combined with the colours of two harpsichords lends the music a vital danceband-like rhythm section, much in keeping with the King's colourful intentions for his evening's entertainment!

All faithfully recreated, of course. Except for the barge.

CDA66967  69 minutes 27 seconds
‘A rewarding programme, imaginatively realised and played with panache. Strongly recommended’ (Gramophone)
‘Performances, engineering, packaging—everything here is first-class: the kind of truly perfect release one usually just dreams about!’ (American Record Guide)
‘The King's Consort makes Handel's music dance … the whole thing is toe-tappingly infectious’ (Classic CD)