Music for the Royal Fireworks
George Frideric Handel


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Famous wars are usually followed by less famous 'peaces'. Occasionally, though, a particularly important treaty will give rise to a famous peace and it was one such for which Handel wrote his Music for the Royal Fireworks. The Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle was signed to mark the ending of the War of the Austrian succession and Handel was commanded to provide the music for the state celebrations that were duly organised. The music was a roaring success, but the fireworks were something of a disaster, after they managed to set fire to the wooden staging built to house them, reeking havoc. The popularity of the new work was plain for all to see when the stampede to get tickets to watch its dress rehearsal almost brought central London to a standstill.