This piece of music by George Frideric Handel [1685-1759] is one of 22 movements from the work "Water Music", organized into three suites. Water Music was performed on the River Thames in 1717.
The score used is arranged and edited by Josiah Pittman [1816-1886].
In a report to Berlin from July 1717, written by the Prussian Resident in London Ludwig-Friedrich Bonnet [1670-1761], the following was reported about the Water Music event (translated): A few weeks ago the King expressed to Baron Kilmanseck His desire to have a concert on the river, by subscription, similar to the masquerades this winter which the King never failed to attend. The Baron accordingly applied to Heidecker, - a Swiss by origin, but the cleverest purveyor of entertainments to the Nobility. The latter replied that, much as he would wish to comply with His Majesty's desires, he must reserve subscriptions for the great events, namely the masquerades, each of which brings him in three or 400 guineas net. Observing His Majesty's chagrin at these difficulties, M. de Kilmanseck undertook to provide the concert on the river at his own expence. The necessary orders were given and the entertainment took place the day before yesterday. About eight in the evening the King repaired to His barge, into which were admitted the Duchess of Bolton, Countess Godolphin, Mad. de Kilmanseck, Mrs. Were and the Earl of Orkney, the Gentleman of the Bedchamber in Waiting. Next to the King's barge was that of the musicians, about 50 in number, who played on all kinds of instruments, to wit trumpets, horns, hautboys, bassoons, German flutes, French flutes, violins and basses; but there were no singers. The music had been composed specially by the famous Handel, a native of Halle, and His Majesty's principal Court Composer. His Majesty approved of it so greatly that he caused it to be repeated three times in all, although each performance lasted an hour - namely twice before and once after supper. The [weather in the] evening was all that could be desired for the festivity, the number of barges and above all of boats filled with people desirous of hearing was beyond counting. In order to make this entertainment the more exquisite, Mad. de Kilmanseck had arranged a choice supper in the late Lord Ranelagh's villa at Chelsea on the river, where the King went at one in the morning. He left at three o'clock and returned to St. James' about half past four. The concert cost Baron Kilmanseck £150 for the musicians alone. Neither the Prince nor the Princess [of Wales] took any part in this festivity.
Pictures of settings concerning the sound of the music in the video: