Tune of the Day: La Réjouissance
The Music for the Royal Fireworks is an orchestral suite composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession. The work was commissioned by King George II of Great Britain, and played during the fireworks display in London's Green Park on 27 April 1749.
The rehearsal of Handel's music in Vauxhall Gardens, which took place six days earlier, was one of the best-attended in the history of musical performance. A huge crowd, said to number in excess of 12,000, is reported to have turned up, blocking many surrounding streets and causing traffic chaos. The actual event was rather less successful: observers reported that many of the fireworks failed to impress, and the display even set fire to one of the pavilions that formed part of the structure.
The fourth of five movements, “La Réjouissance” (“The Rejoicing”) is still very popular, and in recent times it has also become a favorite at weddings. Originally scored for trumpets and wind orchestra, we propose it today in an arrangement for three flutes, but you can also play it as a solo or duet by simply ignoring the lower voices.