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Real Water, Real Music

Handel's Water Music:
Recreating a Royal Spectacular -
reviewed by
MALCOLM TATTERSALL

'... as authentic as we'll see and hear without a time machine.'

Handel's Water Music: Recreating a Royal Spectacular. © 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd/Opus Arte

This is the sort of documentary the BBC does so very well: to take an idea with some historical or scientific interest, invite some experts to talk about it, skate quickly over any unknowns, shoot good-looking footage of a re-creation exercise, and string it all together. The recipe produces excellent, if rather predictable, edutainment for a general audience.

A still from the performance, angle/view 3 selected, showing members of the English Concert playing on a reconstructed barge on the modern River Thames. © 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd/Opus Arte
A still from the performance, angle/view 3 selected, showing members of the English Concert playing on a reconstructed barge on the modern River Thames. © 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd/Opus Arte

'Handel's Water Music' is well up to the BBC's normal standard but M&V regulars are not the general audience for whom the show was intended and may find it less, or differently, interesting than Mr and Mrs Average could be expected to.

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Copyright © 7 June 2006 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia

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