LSM Newswire

Thursday, January 3, 2008

[Boston] HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY presents ROYAL FIREWORKS! - Jan 25 & 27, 2008

Contact: Nina J. Berger, 617.971.9340,


WHEN: Friday, January 25, 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 27, 3:00 PM

WHERE: Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

WHAT: After a triumphant Boston debut conducting the Handel and Haydn Society in Handel's Messiah, British conductor Harry Christophers returns to lead a program of Baroque masterpieces by Handel, Purcell, and Bach. Inspired by or composed for the royal court, these orchestral works - some of the Baroque period's most beloved repertoire - create a program full of celebration and royal pageantry.

George Frideric Handel's most famous instrumental compositions will be presented on the program - his Royal Fireworks Music and Water Music Suite in D major. Fireworks was composed to celebrate the 1749 treaty ending the War of Spanish Succession, and debuted in London with a 101-canon salute and a spectacular fireworks display. Recreating the splendor of a night in 1717 when King George II sailed on the River Thames, the Water Music Suite No. 3 is one of the more intimate and charming of Handel's orchestral works. Handel and Haydn Society's period orchestra last performed this work at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, in September 2006, also under Harry Christophers' direction.

Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 (1731), composed for his patron, Prince Leopold, is best known for its second movement, the "Air on the G String." The Handel and Haydn Society first performed this work at the Boston Music Hall in May 1871 and offered its most recent performances in 1994.

The Fairy Queen (1692) is Henry Purcell's delightful semi-operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream , which he is thought to have composed for the wedding anniversary of King William III and Mary II. The seven selections on the Handel and Haydn program include Symphony from Act IV; Prelude, Hornpipe and Rondeau from First Music; Symphony While the Swans Come Forward; Dance for the Fairies; Dance for the Green Men from Act II; and finally, Chaconne-Dance for A Chinese Man and Woman, from Act V.

HANDEL: Water Music, Suite No. 3
BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
HANDEL: Royal Fireworks Music, HWV 351
PURCELL: Selections from The Fairy Queen, Z.629

WHO: Harry Christophers, conductor (Photos and full biography available upon request)

HOW: Tickets: $15-$67 can be ordered 1) by phone at 617-266-3605, 2) online at, or 3) in person at Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M-F 10am-6pm).

Harry Christophers, founder and conductor of the acclaimed British ensemble The Sixteen, made his American debut with the Handel and Haydn Society in the 2007 performances of Handel's Messiah. Christophers first conducted the ensemble in 2006 at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. In addition to touring throughout Europe, America and the Far East with The Sixteen, Mr. Christophers has performed at some of the world's most prestigious festivals including Salzburg, Mostly Mozart in New York, the BBC Proms, and the Prague Spring Festival. He has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel's Messiah, the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award 2005 for his disc entitled Renaissance. As a guest conductor, Christophers enjoys a very special partnership with the BBC Philharmonic including a disc of American-inspired works by Ives, Stravinsky, Poulenc and Tippett which won a Diapason d'Or. He is a regular guest conductor with the Deutsches Kammerphilharmonie, City of London Sinfonia, the Granada Symphony Orchestra and the Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid. In demand as an orchestra, choral and opera conductor, he recently made his debut with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, English National Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.

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