Politics and Music – George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel, the great German-English baroque composer, lived from 1685 – 1759 (so we celebrate 250 years after his death in 2009). He was born in Germany, trained in Italy and lived in England.
He composed the Music for the Royal Fireworks (HWV 351) in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the fireworks in London on 27 April 1749. It was to celebrate the end of a war (the War of the Austrian Succession) and the signing of a Treaty. So it is music written for an important political event.
At that time composers made a living by getting contracts from rich and important people. And if their music was not appreciated by the ordering party they could get into severe difficulties, because they were dependant on their money and support.
But taken all the politics aside it is a wonderful piece of music, as you can hear in the video.