It’s the 331st birthday of the English baroque composer George Frideric Handel. Although he was born in what is now Germany and spent several years in Italy, he made the eminently sensible decision as a young man to move to England, where he spent the remainder of his life. He enjoyed a long and successful career as a composer, producing forty-two operas, twenty-nine oratorios, sixteen organ concerti, and many other compositions. When he died at the age of seventy-four, more than three thousand mourners attended his funeral, and his remains were interred in Westminster Abbey.
Handel composed the Music for the Royal Fireworks in 1749 for King George II, to celebrate the signing of the treaty that ended the War of the Austrian Succession. Here is the fourth movement from the suite.