"A View of the Public Fire-Works to be exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace" architectural and instructional engraving, circa 1749
Guide to "A View of the Public Fire-Works to be exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace" architectural and instructional engraving C0482
Published by George Mason University Libraries
"Music for the Royal Fireworks" is an orchestral suite composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 and commissioned by King George II of England to celebrate the ending of the War of the Austrian Succession, which lasted from 1740 - 1748. The music was composed to accompany a fireworks display at a grand pavilion built specifically for the occasion in London. Unfortunately, the dress rehearsal for the performance was a greater success than the actual performance. Handel would eventually rework his music for a full orchestra, which is the version that is still performed today.
"A View of the Public Fire-Works to be exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace" architectural and instructional engraving, created circa 1749. The engraving shows a drawing of the pavilion to be built for the celebratory fireworks performance and its written specifications. According to the specifications, the celebration would be performed as such: "At the Top of the Building, from behind the two Stars, five hundred Rockets will go off from each Place: The whole Front of the Building will display Fire Wheels, and many other Devices in various Forms and Colours, which will continue for three Hours; at the Conclusion of which, from behind the King's Arms, at Top, six thousand Rockets will go off at once. After which the whole Building will be illuminated, and continue so five Hours more."
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Public Domain. There are no known restrictions.
The Special Collections Resarch Center holds other engravings and illustrations from this time period.
The British Museum holds a print illustration depicting the same occasion.
Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759
Handel, George Frideric, 1685-1759. (Title of work: Music for the royal fireworks.)
"A View of the Public Fire-Works to be exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace" architectural and instructional engraving, C0482, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased by Steve Gerber from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians in March 2018.
Processing completed by Amanda Brent in August 2021. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in August 2021. This item was formerly part of the Performing Arts Manuscript Materials collection, C0215.
Blevins, Kali. "How Handel's 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' Premiered with a Bang." Of Note, WDAV Classical Public Radio, July 3, 2014. https://blogs.wdav.org/2014/07/how-handels-music-for-the-royal-fireworks-premiered-with-a-bang/.
Schwarm, B.. "Music for the Royal Fireworks." Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed August 18, 2021. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Music-for-the-Royal-Fireworks.