Roger Norrington

Handel: Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Recorded in 1996, Roger Norrington's album of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, performed with the brilliant London Classical Players, is a worthy offering that fans of Baroque period practice will enjoy with only minor quibbles. Because Norrington has rearranged Water Music by combining the Suite in D major and the Suite in F major to form a more tonally varied and balanced suite, as well as to match the number of pieces in the corresponding Suite in F major, some traditionalists may object to the new ordering; because Norrington takes most movements faster than is conventional, some listeners may find the familiar Air and other slow pieces go by too quickly for their liking. Similarly in the Fireworks Music, Norrington maintains a swift pace, even in "La Paix," which is usually taken as a slow siciliana, not at the jaunty tempo heard here. But if Norrington's need for speed doesn't bother you, then there is much in these historically informed performances that is quite enjoyable, particularly in the sonorous brass playing that makes the Suite in D major and the Fireworks Music so thrilling. Virgin's sound is vibrant and bold, and the volume is quite high throughout, so adjust levels accordingly.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348
1 03:17 Amazon
2 02:19 Amazon
3 07:25 Amazon
4 02:36 Amazon
5
Air
03:32 Amazon
6 02:43 Amazon
7 01:34 Amazon
8 01:36 Amazon
9 02:43 Amazon
Water Music Suite No.2 for orchestra in D major, HWV 349
10 02:05 Amazon
11 03:12 Amazon
12 02:58 Amazon
13 02:37 Amazon
14 02:15 Amazon
15 01:19 Amazon
16 03:46 Amazon
17 01:28 Amazon
18 03:06 Amazon
Music for the Royal Fireworks, for orchestra, HWV 351
19 07:53 Amazon
20 01:39 Amazon
21 02:52 Amazon
22 02:08 Amazon
23 03:27 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick