Barclay: His Majesty’s Grand Conceit
His Majesty’s Grand Conceit. By Robert Barclay (Loose Cannon Press, 2020). 294 pages. ISBN 9781988657196. www.loosecannonpress.com (Available in-print or as an ebook through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
George Frederic Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks (HWV 351), composed in 1749, is certainly one of the most beloved and splendid pieces in the early brass repertoire. The work was commissioned by King George II of Great Britain to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. This, Robert Barclay’s fifth work of fiction, is a historical novel where the author puts much meat on the bones of a possible scenario of the preparation and the grand event of April 27, 1749 where an estimated audience of 12,000 people jammed into London’s Green Park to witness a spectacular fireworks display and hear Handel’s music.