The Official Guide

Most Beautiful Villages in France book

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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

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Music for the Royal Fireworks at Versailles

It’s confession time – depite many many visits to France I have still not managed to visit two of the major visitor attractions – neither the Louvre nor Versailles have been ticked off the list of places to visit!  It is not that I don’t yearn for to see these places – its probably more that with limited time there are so many things to see and do around Paris – and each of these major sites justify at least one day each!  However we plan to rectify these omissions by 2011. Both are full of glorious art and history and an appreciation of France and Paris is incomplete without seeing them.

One way to see something of Versailles is to attend one of the open-air concerts at Versailles, when Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks will provide a superb and appropriate musical backdrop to the Chateau and grounds.

versailles fireworksThe famous “Music for the Royal Fireworks” was composed in 1749 by Georg Friedrich Handel to celebrate the peace treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. King George II had asked Handel to compose some festive music to accompany a great display of fireworks plunging into the Thames. Handel was by then a living legend in England and the magnificent music he composed had an enormous impact on the public. Expectations were huge and 12,000 people rushed to the rehearsals, causing a number of accidents. The official performance on 27 April ushered in a new musical order, bringing some 80 musicians together to interpret Handel’s masterpiece in an “outdoor” setting: wind and percussion instruments were invited to the party, but no string instruments; the orchestral volume was thus able to compete with the exploding fireworks! For this concert in Versailles, Hervé Niquet and his army of “blowers” will also perform Dandrieu’s “Les Caractères de la Danse”, a large orchestral suite by this master of French music. They will be accompanied by the pyrotechnic wizardry of Group F fireworks.

The event takes place on Thursday 24 June 2010 at 9:30pm

For more info and bookings

Château de Versailles Spectacles,

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