Water Music – On the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Handel’s famous orchestra suite

17 July – 17 November 2017
From the series "Musical treasures"

Poster motif of the cabinet presentation – Edouard Jean Conrad Hamman (1819 – 1888): George I of Great Britain and George Frideric Handel on a boat trip on the Thames (1717) | Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Historical background

On 17 July 1717, the orchestra music by George Frideric Handel, storied as the so-called "Water Music", was performed for the first time in London. At this historical event, a full-size orchestral ensemble accompanied the English King George I on a boat trip on the Tames with great success.

About the cabinet presentation

In time for the 300th anniversary of this event, the Music Department presents a cabinet presentation with compositions inspired by rivers and seas, from the Danube to the Vltava, from the Rhine to the Isar.

A historical overview runs the gamut from handwritten and printed music materials by Bavarian composers to vanguard "water music" pieces by Cage and Takemitsu. A particular emphasis is on source materials on Richard Wagner's opera "Das Rheingold", which was premiered in Munich in 1869, and on drafts of the incomplete tone poem "Die Donau" by Richard Strauss (1941/ 1942).

The music materials are complemented by image materials from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Dr. Diemut Boehm
Department Acquisition, Collection Development and Cataloguing 1
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2138


Venue Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, hallway in front of the Reading Room for Music, Maps and Images, 1st floor
Opening hours 17 July – 17 November 2017
Monday – Friday   9:00 – 17:00  (closed on bank holidays)
Admission Admission is free.