VI. AIR

from Water Music Suite in F Major, HWV348

by George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany and died in 1759 in London, England. In Handel’s time, today’s Germany was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Handel moved to London in 1712 and became very famous, so famous in fact that the Parliament of Great Britain passed Handel’s Naturalisation Act 1727 to grant Handel British citizenship. Handel’s coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of George II in 1727, has been played at every British coronation since. Handel was so highly regarded by the British monarchy, he was buried in Westminster Abbey, London.

In 1717, King George I asked Handel to provide music for an orchestra of about 50 musicians, who would perform on a barge on the River Thames. Handel provided about an hour’s worth of music for the performance and King George listened from another barge, nearby. It’s said that King George was so delighted with the performance, he asked for the music to be played three more times!

The performance was a huge event. People lined the banks of the River Thames and all types of boats were in the water. Afterwards, the music performed on the barge became known as Water Music and was later published as three suites, all with the title Water Music.

Air from Water Music Suite in F Major, HWV348 is still popular today and is often performed for events such as weddings and formal functions.

Step 1. Watch the video to learn about the Double Bass

Step 2. Listen to the TSO recording of Air

Step 3. Answer 10 questions

Step 4. Download a Word Search

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