It’s easy to imagine the well-documented first performance of Handel’s Water Music, played by at least 50 musicians on a barge floating down the Thames for a royal procession. But what was the score’s first incarnation? After all, Baroque composers would shamelessly beg, borrow and steal from their own music, whatever it took to make a few extra bob.
Enter the Brook Street Band, a young baroque chamber ensemble whose core make-up is two violins, harpsichord and cello. Upon learning of a chamber version of the Water Music in an Oxford University library, apparently penned by Handel himself, the group applied 18th century practices and adapted the music for their own forces, adding an oboe doubling on recorder. The resulting world premier recording recreates how Handel’s popular music may have been enjoyed by 18th century folk in the privacy of their own home.
This is the debut recording by The Brook Street Band, award winning specialists in eighteenth century repertoire who take their name from the London street where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. They complete their CD with trio sonatas by Corelli, Geminiani, Handel and Leclair.