George Frideric Handel composed the Water Music in 1717 in response to a request from King George I of England for a concert on the River Thames. King George boarded the royal barge at Whitehall Palace, (accompanied by dukes and duchesses, earls and countesses) and floated leisurely up the Thames, followed by another barge carrying the orchestra of 50 musicians, who performed as they floated down the river. The king was so pleased by Handel’s music that he commanded it to be repeated at least 3 times, both on the way to Chelsea and on the return to Whitehall.
This arrangement for pedal harp solo by Stephanie Bennett (“One of our country’s top harpists” – the Hollywood Reporter) is meticulously notated with fingerings, pedal changes and muffles where needed. All markings are explained in the Performance Notes. In its traditional AABA form, it is 4 minutes long. It is easy to make it shorter by playing fewer sections, or longer by repeating sections as needed. If you print it out on paper, make sure to follow the traditional system of placing the ODD numbered pages on the RIGHT and the EVEN numbered pages on the LEFT. The page turns have been carefully planned to be doable this way.
A CD (“A Beautiful Classic Wedding” by Lace & Roses Music) containing a recording of this arrangement is available on harpworld.com and CDbaby.com. MP3 is available on iTunes and on CDbaby.com.