The Phil is honored to participate in America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration. The weekend of festivities has become a beloved holiday occasion as well as an important link to our nation’s history and heritage.
If there was a Billboard Classical Music Chart in 1717, Water Music would have topped it. Handel composed the spirited piece for a showy trip up the Thames aboard the royal barge. King George loved it and had the musicians play it not once, not twice, but three times again. Not so for Pachelbel’s Canon & Gigue. It was a bit of a sleeper. Although composed in the 1600s, it wasn’t published or recorded until the 20th century. Since then, this pleasing piece has worked its way up the charts and into pop songs, films, advertising (and more than a wedding or two) to become one of the most widely performed Baroque compositions ever. Like Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos: six sumptuous instrumental works by the musical genius. No. 2 makes our top three. It’s a trumpet tour de force with heavenly combinations for flute, oboe, and violin, too. Out of this world—literally! In 1977, NASA sent the Voyager 1 space probe into deep space with a small Gold Record aboard. The opening music track is the first movement of this concerto, a joyful document of humanity. A timeless musical greeting, indeed.