This New Year's Eve let Classic 107 be the soundtrack to your celebrations with special programming throughout the day as we bid adieu to 2014.

Start early New Year's Eve with music for fireworks in the 9:00 AM hour of Morning Light with guest host Andrea Ratuski. Listen to Jeanne Lamon conduct Tafelmusik with Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks HWV 351

Although Handel did not compose his Music for the Royal Fireworks for any New Year's celebrations, he did compose it while working for George II in 1749. The Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle was signed to mark the ending of the War of the Austrian succession and the piece was composed to accompany the royal celebrations. A favourite among the royals, Handel, who had written the wonderful Coronation Anthems for George II and the Water Music for his father, George I, was commissioned to provide the music.

The build up was huge; top-class concerts open to the general public were virtually unheard of at the time and excitement was so great that tickets were sold for a public rehearsal of the music in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Around 12,000 people flocked to the performance in Green Park in April 1749, resulting in a traffic jam that closed London Bridge for several hours.

Despite the frenzy of preparation, no one had factored in the possibility of bad weather. So naturally it rained, most of the fireworks refused to light, and the few that did light caused the staging to catch fire. There's no record of what Handel made of it all, although a contemporary, Horace Walpole, reported that the evening was 'pitiful and ill-conducted' but 'very little mischief was done'.

None of this put Handel off. The music itself, taking the form of a Baroque dance suite in six movements, had been well received. Handel cannily re-scored it for a later indoor performance, incorporating strings into the orchestra (the King had insisted that he write the suite for percussion, brass and winds only). The composer thus got what he'd wanted all along and the music secured its place to stand beside the Water Music and Coronation Anthems as one of his most famous works.


Then at 2:00 PM, The Diamond Lane revs up with host Sarah Jo Kirsch and all those beautiful waltzes from Strauss. Start the dancing early compliments of Neeme Jarvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as they perform Strauss'  Aus Italien Op. 16 and much more!



At 6:00 PM we continue through the rest of the night with wonderful classical music programming and minimal interruptions. A perfect soundtrack for any festivities you may be having as you ring in the New Year!

And finally, at midnight, you can't say good bye to the old and ring in the new without Auld Lang Syne.