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The Great Music

Handel's Water Music

The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often considered three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel.

 

It premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I had requested a concert on the River Thames. The concert was performed by 50 musicians playing on a barge near the royal barge from which the King listened with close friends, including Anne Vaughan, the Duchess of Bolton, the Duchess of Newcastle, Countess of Darlington, the Countess of Godolphin, Madam Kilmarnock, and the Earl of Orkney.

 

The barges, heading for Chelsea or Lambeth and leaving the party after midnight, used the tides of the river. George I was said to have enjoyed the suites so much that he made the exhausted musicians play them three times over the course of the outing.

 

Handel Water Music Hornpipe

George Frideric Handel  (1685 – 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music. He received critical musical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) and becoming a naturalised British subject in 1727.By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.
 
He was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English Oratorio on mythical and biblical themes, but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital  the critique ended.
 
Handel is generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining popular. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and original instrumentation, interest in Handel's operas has grown. His operas contain remarkable human characterisation—especially for a composer not known for his love affairs.

Handel: Water Music (Opus Arte)

韓德爾的《水上音樂》

 

乔治弗里德里希韩德尔George Frideric Handel 1685—1759),是著名的英籍德国作曲家。他出生于德国,1712年二十七岁时定居英国,此后,对英国的音乐发展起了重要的作用。英国人也顺理成章的把他当作是英国最重要的音乐家之一。

 

韩德尔在欧洲音乐史中与巴赫齐名,对后世音乐影响极其重大。

 

韩德尔曾在德国汉诺威王侯宫廷担任乐长,一直得到汉诺威王侯的资助。 后来,韩德尔请假前往伦敦,因为受到安妮女皇的恩宠,遂留在伦敦,逾假而迟迟不归,为此,王侯心存芥蒂。

谁知命运弄人,两年后女皇突然去世,又因为女皇的长子夭折,汉诺威王侯以皇室贵族的身分,入主英国,登基为乔治一世。

 

开小差来到英国的,前汉诺威宫廷乐长韩德尔,自知地位尴尬,愧对这位旧上司,感到非常歉疚和不安。他必须获得新国王的原谅,否则地位不保。

 

韩德尔有两位在朝中做大臣的朋友 - 布林顿和吉尔曼塞克男爵,他和他们商量,并想出了一条妙计。他非常了解这位国王酷爱音乐,用音乐来打动乔治一世,一定能冰释前嫌。

 

翌年,韩德尔完成了《水上音乐》(Water Music)组曲的创作。

 

1717年,在吉尔曼塞克男爵的精心安排下,泰晤士河上举行了大型的巡游庆典。乔治一世乘着挂着彩灯的豪华御船,周围簇拥着大小帆船,游廊画舫,宾客如云,极尽宴乐之盛事。

而后面另一只游船尾随,上面安置了五十位乐手的交响乐团,包括小号、圆号、双簧管、大管、长笛和弦乐器,只是没有歌者。

 

乐团演奏着大型组曲《水上音乐》,包括广版,快板,小步舞曲,赋格等。时而雍容华贵,时而淡淡的忧愁,时而轻盈跳跃,时而温文妩媚。非常丰富华丽,又充满节日喜庆的气氛。

 

据记载,乔治一世当日在河上往返三次,反复聆听。又因为音波在水面上的折射,让音响效果奇佳。泰晤士河波光潺潺,船上鼓乐齐鸣,极为赏心悦目。

 

如此良辰美景,乔治一世高兴极了,问:“这部华丽典雅的杰作是谁的作品?” 回答是:“这是韩德尔的作品。”乔治一世爱才心切,原谅了韩德尔以前的“见异思迁”,韩德尔又重新得到了国王的器重。

 

《水上音乐》 整个组曲是由二十七首乐曲组成。但是,原始手稿已经无法找到,经后人改编的版本,都不尽相同。

 

现在最为广泛流传的版本,是根据克里塞德Karl Franz Friedrich Chrysander 1826-1901)改编的全集20首,依照调性的不同,编为三部组曲,即:《F大调第一组曲》、《D大调第二组曲》、《G大调第三组曲》。

 

 

__ 摘自戴莉的專欄

 

 

Handel another piece Fireworks, Overture.

韓德爾的另一作品《皇家煙火》