Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

This page lists all recordings of Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351, by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) on CD, SACD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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First Choice
November 1999
Editor's Choice
August 2009
Editor's Choice
March 2006
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All recordings

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Gunter Wand conducts Handel & Mozart

Gunter Wand conducts Handel & Mozart


Beethoven:

Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b

Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

Organ Concerto No. 1 in G minor, HWV289, Op. 4 No. 1

Mozart:

Serenade No. 9 in D major, K320 'Posthorn'

Serenade No. 7 in D major, K250 'Haffner'


“One doesn’t much think of Handel when considering Wand and indeed, we only hear the Overture from the Music for the Royal Fireworks, a performance which, once past an uneasy downbeat, has a deal of stretchy phraseology in the lentemente section and a nourished string tone throughout.” MusicWeb International, 6th May 2013

King Records - KKC2041

(CD - 2 discs)

$38.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Water & Fireworks Music

Handel: Water & Fireworks Music


Handel:

Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


Decca - 4783357

(CD)

$9.50

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel - Nine German Arias & Music For The Royal Fireworks

Handel - Nine German Arias & Music For The Royal Fireworks


Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

Michael Oman (recorder & director)

Neun deutsche Arien, HWV202-210

Nuria Rial (soprano)


Austrian Baroque Company

Soprano Nuria Rial performs Georg Friedrich Handel’s stunningly beautiful but rarely recorded German Arias, accompanied by the Austrian Baroque Company. Handel’s Deutsche Arien of 1724-7 stands relatively alone in the context of his Italian operas and English oratorios, and is a bold but fitting choice of repertoire for Catalan Soprano Nuria Rial, who specialises in baroque and early classical repertoire as her previous recordings of Haydn and Handel testify.

Directed by Michael Oman, one of the most distinguished and versatile recorder players of his generation, the Austrian Baroque Company also performs Handel's famous Fireworks Music in a version for recorder and small baroque orchestra, created by Michael Oman himself.

Deutsche HM - 88697483932

(CD)

$13.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks


Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

Concerto a due cori in F major, HWV 334

Concerto a due cori No. 1 in B flat major HWV 332

Concerto a due cori in F major, HWV 333


Ensemble Zefiro was founded in 1989 by oboists Alfredo Bernardini and Paolo Grazzi together with bassoonist Alberto Grazzi and consists of talented musicians drawn from leading Baroque orchestras. Zefiro regularly appears to great acclaim at major European, Asian and South American festivals. Its recordings have received accolades around the world, including ‘Grand Prix du Disque’, supporting Zefiro’s reputation for virtuosic performances and a lively approach to repertoire. On the Ensemble’s latest stunning CD, the group has chosen Haendel’s famous ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ together with four Concerti. There is much here of interest for the listener including well-known melodies from the ever-popular oratorio, ‘The Messiah’.

“Zefiro play the grand Ouverture with the perfect synthesis of splendour and dance-like charisma… "La réjouissance" trips along lightly without a hint of clumsiness, but still has ample juicy magnificence. There are several other good recordings available, but this zesty and fluid performance is a welcome change from stodgy readings in which everything is hammered home mercilessly. Zefiro bring a marvellous sense of light and shade to this music. Zefiro also perform all three of the Concerti per due cori... These shapely performances are phrased and paced to perfection... This is one of the most enjoyable discs of Handel's orchestral music to have come my way in a long time...” Gramophone Magazine, August 2009

“What makes the disc into a must-hear is the pairing with the three Concerto a due cori, Handel's last, ebullient recycling of "greatest hits" from his operas and Italian cantatas.” The Independent on Sunday, 19th July 2009

“What the Italian wind-based orchestra Zefiro, led by oboist Alfredo Bernardini, achieve here is remarkable, giving these ceremonial masterpieces an expressive lilt and rounded warmth - no relentless rhythms, but perky dances, gracious phrasing and, in the famous fireworks music, an unexpected depth of emotion.” The Observer, 2nd August 2009

“…once past the curious opening… the players want for nothing in immediacy or colour. They contrive majesty without pomposity, and there's a deal of gleeful thrusting in the confrontational face-offs which animate the Allegro continuation. The easeful suavity of the 'Bourrée' neatly counterpoints the arcadian lilt of 'La paix', while the two concluding menuets are appealingly crisp and... Laced with infectious swagger, the three Concerti a due cori... provide an inspired and inspiring coupling.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2009 ***

“The Italian ensemble Zefiro, directed by oboist Alfredo Bernardini, specialise in 18th-century music that gives prominence towards wind instruments. This lends itself to Handel's Musicfor the Royal Fireworks, written for the public celebrations of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in London's Green Park (1749). Zefiro play the grand Ouverture with the perfect synthesis of splendour and dance-like charisma (too many versions possess too little of the latter). 'La réjouissance' trips along lightly without a hint of clumsiness, but still has ample juicy magnificence.
There are several other good recordings available, but this zesty and fluid performance is a welcome change from stodgy readings in which everything is hammered home mercilessly.
Zefiro bring a marvellous sense of light and shade to this music. Maybe Bernardini's sparkling and communicative approach would have been too subtle for the great British outdoors in 1749, but it is curious that this beautifully engineered recording was made outside in the cloisters of a former Jesuit college in Sicily.
Zefiro also perform all three of the Concerti perdue cori (1747-48) that Handel arranged for orchestra and two 'choirs' of woodwind and brass. These were intended as entr'actes in oratorio concerts, and it is fun to play 'name that tune'.
These shapely performances are phrased and paced to perfection, and exploit an enjoyable range of instrumental colours (whether oboe trios or bucolic horns, almost everything here feels right). This is one of the most enjoyable discs of Handel's orchestral music in a long time.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2009

Deutsche HM - 88697367912

(CD)

$20.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel - Fireworks Music & Water Music

Handel - Fireworks Music & Water Music


Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350


On a cold January day in 1989, two dozen oboes, twelve bassoons, nine horns, nine trumpets and two giant double drums were gathered in a north London church to make what became of Hyperion’s most iconic recordings: The King’s Consort’s recreation of Handel’s Musick for the Royal Fireworks is a sonic triumph of jaw-dropping majesty, its authenticity only stopping short at burning down the venue.

Ten years later Robert King and The King’s Consort turned their attentions to the Water Music. Handel’s commission was for 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 (despite the King’s outspoken loathing of ‘violeens’) 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!

“This recording recreates the scale of [the] original outdoor performance with 24 oboes, nine each of horns and trumpets, a dozen bassoons, and a mighty percussion of four pairs of timpani including a unique pair of extra-large ‘double drums’ and four side-drummers. The effect is shattering, the clearest justification for ‘authenticity’ in performance” BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide (on Musick for the Royal Fireworks)

“The King’s Consort makes Handel’s music dance … the whole thing is toe-tappingly infectious” Classic CD (on Water Music)

“A rewarding programme, imaginatively realised and played with panache. Strongly recommended” Gramophone Magazine (on Water Music)

Early Music - up to 25% off

Helios - CDH55375

(CD)

Normally: $9.50

Special: $7.60

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel - Water Music Suites

Handel - Water Music Suites


Handel:

Water Music Suite No. 1 in F major, HWV348

Water Music Suite No. 2 in D major, HWV349

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


Recorded March 1993, remastered February 2008

“An outstanding disc which I foolishly overlooked back in 1993, not realising Savall et al. were such fine Handelians; it sounds spectacular now, remastered from stereo to effective but not overblown multi-channel SACD.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 *****

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Early Music - up to 25% off

Alia Vox Heritage - AVSA9860

(SACD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $10.68

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Music for the Royal Fireworks

Music for the Royal Fireworks


Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

(original version for wind instruments)

Minuets I & II (with fireworks & cannon effects)

(with firworks & cannon effects)

Concerto a due cori in F

Concerto No. 1 in F

Concerto No. 3 in D

Water Music Suite

Berenice Overture


“Over the night of 13-14 April 1959 in St Gabriel's Church, Cricklewood, a recording session took place, historic in every way, when the young Charles Mackerras conducted a band of 62 wind players plus nine percussionists in Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks. With no fewer than 26 oboists topping the ensemble, it was only possible to assemble such a band after all concerts and operas had finished for the day.
They began at 11pm and finished at 2.30 in the morning, yet so far from sounding tired or jaded, the players responded to the unique occasion with a fizzing account of Handel's six movements.
The success of this extraordinary project fully justified Mackerras's determination to restore the astonishing array of instruments that Handel himself had assembled for the original performance in Green Park in April 1749.
It's thrilling to hear that 1959 recording, at last transferred to CD, with sound that's still of demonstration quality, full and spacious, with a wide stereo spread. It's true that Mackerras takes the introduction to the overture and the 'Siciliana' at speeds far slower than he would choose today, but this was a recording which marked a breakthrough in what later developed as the period performance movement.
As a coupling for the Fireworks Music, Mackerras devised a composite Concerto a due cori which draws on two works written with that title around 1747. It makes a splendid piece, in which the massed horns bray gloriously.
Whatever the degree of authenticity, this is an electrifying collection, superbly transferred.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Testament - SBT1253

(CD)

$17.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351, etc.

Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

Concerto grosso in C, HWV 318 'Alexander's Feast'

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (from Solomon)

Belshazzar: Overture

Alceste: Grand Entrée

Saul: Sinfonia

Samson: Sinfonia


Building a Library

First Choice - November 1999

DG Archiv Masters - E4472792

(CD)

$12.50

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Fireworks Music & Coronation Anthems

Handel: Fireworks Music & Coronation Anthems


Handel:

Coronation Anthems Nos. 1-4

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


“Mightily impressive” The Guardian

Early Music - up to 25% off

Hyperion - CDA66350

(CD)

Normally: $17.00

Special: $14.79

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350, etc.

Handel:

Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


These are unashamedly old-fashioned, but beautifully clear performances of these timeless masterpieces. They were recorded in the famed 'old' Concertgebouw and the sound of the winds especially - horn (track 3) and oboe (track 2) - is beautifully glowing.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4613362

(CD)

$11.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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