The first performance of Handel’s Water Music: At about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 July 1717, King George I boarded a royal barge at Whitehall Palace for an excursion up the Thames. The barge rode the rising tide upstream with no one rowing.
Fifty musicians performed the music on another barge floating nearby. The river was filled with boats of listeners. The king was pleased. The performance was repeated three times.
Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there.
Here’s a private performance of Water Music. The barge is much smaller – we pass this small boat in a pond on a 600 mile yearly drive. Every year it’s a bit more submerged. But the music is beautiful.