Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall

Handel: Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks

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Jordi Savall's exemplary performance of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks is among the finest available on disc: refined and precise, but very big, with blood-stirring grandeur. This is just the kind of extroverted, rousing presentation that best highlights the music's open-air ceremonial function. Savall's Le Concert des Nations is essentially a chamber orchestra with double or triple winds, but the sound he elicits from the group is majestic and surprisingly powerful. The playing is crisp and the rhythmic articulation bracing, but the sound is never brash. In fact, more often than not it is seductively sensual, a heady integration of precision and supple, shapely phrasing. Handel left no authoritative edition of the score of Water Music and it has traditionally been divided into three suites, but Savall reorders the material into two suites, a decision that makes more sense in terms of key relationships and that sounds entirely satisfying. The recording was made in the spacious Chateau de Cardona in Catalonia, and the sound is warmly resonant but bright and clean. Anyone looking for a recording of these two Handel masterpieces won't go wrong with this version, which makes the music sound fresh and new even for listeners already familiar with it.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Water Music Suite No.2 for orchestra in D major, HWV 349
1 02:15
Water Music Suite No.3 for orchestra in G major, HWV 350
2 01:43
3 02:26
4 01:04
5 01:24
6 00:55
7 01:10
8 00:30
9 01:11
Water Music Suite No.2 for orchestra in D major, HWV 349
10 01:03
11 02:13
12 04:05
Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348
13 03:24
14 02:06
15 02:23
16 04:47
17 03:24
19 01:45
20 02:28
21 03:41
22 03:47
Music for the Royal Fireworks, for orchestra, HWV 351
23 04:09
24 05:39 Amazon
25 01:54 Amazon
26 03:19
27 03:52 Amazon
28 01:50
29 01:21
30 00:58 Amazon
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