Handel's Music For The Royal Fireworks was composed in 1749 to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and the end of the War of the Austrian Succession. The site chosen was the fashionable upper part of St. James Park, which was becoming known at that time as Green Park. The Green Park 'Machine', which housed the pyrotechnics was an elaborate affair adorned with "statues and other figures, festoons of flowers, and other lustres". It was announced that there would be some 10,000 rockets and other devices to be let off, all culminating in a grand, burning sun with 'Vivat Rex' at its centre. There were also rumours that the event was to be accompanied by an impressively large band of military music and mention was made of "40 trumpets, 20 french horns, 16 hautboys (oboes), 16 bassoons, 8 pairs of kettle drums, 12 side drums, a proper number of flutes and fifes; with 100 cannon to go off singly at intervals". It is unlikely that Handel had ever conceived such forces and it was merely the promoter's hyberbole, not least because it was unlikely that there were sufficient numbers of extra military musicians available that could read music, as most played from memory. It is also likely that Handel, and his publisher, were conscious that future performances would be hindered by such forces. The autographed score lists the instrumentation as 9 trumpets, 9 french horns, 24 hautboys, 12 bassoons, 3 pairs of kettle drums and up to 4 side drums. The work is in five movements, although Handel's original score did not indicate in which order they should be played. However, in this score they are arranged to be played as follows: Overture; Bouree; La Paix; Minuets; La Rejouissance. Duration: 19:00Estimated delivery 12-14 days
Eye Level was originally produced for the De Wolfe Music Library and selected by Thames Television for the theme tune to their Netherlands based detective series Van der Valk. Based on a German/Dutch nursery rhyme, which in turn takes its melody line from Mozart's Nozze di Figaro, Dutch composer Jan Stoeckart adapted it under the name Jack Trombey, and Simon Park arranged it for his own orchestra. In 1973 his single was top of the UK charts for 4 weeks and in the top 40 for 22 weeks. It gained the award of a platinum disc. Fully entitled 'Eye Level (Theme from the TV series Van der Valk)', the tune has also been used in various TV adverts for clients such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in the 70's and Oranjeboom lager in the 1980's. This new arrangement is straightforward and within the capabilities of most 4th section and village brass bands. The tune is instantly recognisable and ideally suited to fetes, concerts and programmes of light entertainment.
This enduringly popular seasonal song has long been a Christmas favourite, even though the lyrics don't mention 'Christmas' at all. The words were by Dick Smith (1901-1935) and the music by Felix Bernard (1897-1944). The inspiration was reportedly a visit by Smith to Honesdale's (his hometown) Central Park when it was covered in snow. The first recording was made by Richard Himber's Ritz-Carlton Orchestra in 1934. The same year Guy Lombardo and his band, The Royal Canadians, took the song to number 2 in the US Billboard Chart, where it stayed for 9 weeks. It has since been recorded by over 150 artists, the most successful versions being by Perry Como and the Andrews Sisters, both released in 1946.Estimated delivery 10-14 days