The first performance of the Water Music suites took place on Wednesday evening, July 17, 1717. King George I and several aristocrats boarded a royal barge at Whitehall Palace for an excursion up the Thames River toward Chelsea. Next to the King’s barge was that of the musicians, about 50 of them, a relatively large orchestra in order for the strings to be heard outdoors. Many other Londoners also took to the river to hear the concert. According to the paper, “the whole River in a manner was covered” with boats and barges. Hear the Alba Quartet perform these charming arrangements and imagine your night on the Thames!