Suite aus der »Wassermusik«

Concert Band

Suite aus der »Wassermusik«
Water Music Suite (HWV 348-350)

Concert Piece, Classic, Baroque Music, Classical Transcription, Suite
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Performance time:
Full Score + Condensed Score + Parts
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George Friedrich Handel’s „Water Music is one of his most famous and popular works. A Thames boat ride of King George I on July 17, 1717 was the occasion for this composition. Handel was supposed to provide festive musical amusement during the boat ride and the evening dinner. The 20 movements of “Water Music” form three self-contained suites. Albert Loritz chose five movements for this condensed wind orchestra suite to give an insight into the comprehensive and diversified original work.

1. Alla Hornpipe: Handel wrote this piece in D major. A transposition to Bb major allowed for the soloistic parts to remain with trumpets and horns. The other instruments substitute for strings and oboes. In the minor key mid-part upper woodwinds play the virtuoso part of the first violin, while saxophones and sonorous brass cover the chordal accompaniment.

2. Bourrée: This light movement is taken from the suite in D major and is often called “Coro”. In accordance with Handel letting different groups of instruments play the various repetitions we hear in this adaption first the brass, then the woodwinds, and finally the full wind orchestra.

3. Air: Colorful instrumentation is very important for this movement, so players and listeners do not tire of ten quite similar successive formal parts. This is why solo instruments, woodwinds, mixed instrumentation and finally the whole wind orchestra alternate. This movement is in the original key.

4. Menuett: Albert Loritz transposed this movement from F major to Bb major, so he did not have to change the melody, which spans more than one and a half octaves. This affected the trumpets playing the lead melody instead of the horns. Now the minor key middle part also has a good range for wind orchestra and allows for flugelhorns, horns, and alto and tenor saxophones to play unisono.

5. Allegro: This splendid piece is from the “Horn Suite” in F major. In the style of a concerto grosso, Handel creates three contrasting instrumental choirs. In adapting for wind orchestra these choirs consist of horns and flugelhorns, oboes and bassoons, as well as woodwinds, saxophones and low brass. With only a few musical motifs a fine-sounding competition between the three choirs evolves.

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