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.

Recommendations

First Choice
November 1999
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)

$37.25

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)

$12.75

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)

Helios - CDH55375

(CD)

$9.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel - Water Music & Music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel - Water Music & Music for the Royal Fireworks


Handel:

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

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


English Concert, Trevor Pinnock

“It's unlikely that George I ever witnessed performances that live up to this one. They are sparkling; tempos are well judged and there's a truly majestic sweep to the opening F major French overture; that gets things off to a fine start but what follows is no less compelling with some notably fine woodwind playing, so often the disappointing element in performances on period instruments.
In the D major music it's the brass department that steals the show and here, horns and trumpets acquit themselves with distinction. Archiv Produktion has achieved a particularly satisfying sound in which all strands of the orchestral texture can be heard with clarity. In this suite the ceremonial atmosphere comes over particularly well, with resonant brass playing complemented by crisply articulated oboes.
The G major pieces are quite different from those in the previous groups, being lighter in texture and more closely dance-orientated.
They are among the most engaging in the WaterMusic and especially, perhaps, the two little 'country dances', the boisterous character of which Pinnock captures nicely.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“They play on period instruments with great zest, especially so in the Fireworks Music. Speeds are consistently well choen. One test is the famous 'Air', which here remains an engagingly gentle piece.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Originals - up to 40% off

DG Originals - 4777562

(CD)

Normally: $12.00

Special: $8.40

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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

Alia Vox Heritage - AVSA9860

(SACD)

$13.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Water Music & Music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel: Water Music & Music for the Royal Fireworks


Handel:

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

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

DG Rosette Collection - 4767071

(Presto CD)

$13.75

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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)

$16.50

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

Concerti a due cori Nos. 1-3

The Alchymist


Decca - Double Decca - E4557092

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.25

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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)

$12.00

(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

Hyperion - up to 25% off

Hyperion - CDA66350

(CD)

Normally: $16.50

Special: $13.53

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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