George Frideric Handel

Born 23 February 1685. Died 14 April 1759
George Frideric Handel
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1685-02-23
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/27870d47-bb98-42d1-bf2b-c7e972e6befc
George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel Biography (BBC)

Born in Halle in central Germany, George Frideric Handel was lured from his intended career in law by music, and had his first opera produced in Hamburg before he was 20.

The following year he took himself to the fount of all things operatic, Italy, where a four year stay added a new sophistication and finish to his already notable abilities. Many of his most brilliant vocal works date from this time, including the choral psalm-setting Dixit Dominus, the opera Agrippina and the oratorio La resurrezione.

Handel emerged from his Italian experience looking for a career in opera, and after a brief period in Hanover was soon in London, scoring a significant success in 1711 with the spectacular Rinaldo. Over the next 30 years he was to compose around 40 Italian operas for the London stage, the climaxes of his achievement coming in 1724–5 with Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano and Rodelinda, and in 1735, the year of Ariodante and Alcina.

At the same time he gained a sure foothold with the British establishment, cultivating wealthy patrons and winning prestigious royal commissions, including the four anthems which he composed for the coronation of George II in 1727. That year he also became a British citizen.

During the 1730s English interest in Italian opera waned, and Handel was forced to look elsewhere for a living. His solution, oratorio in English, has fixed his position on the British musical landscape ever since. His first English oratorio, Esther of 1732, was an adaptation of an earlier stage work, but by the end of the decade a number of striking original works had followed, including Saul and Israel in Egypt. For a while he composed oratorios alongside operas, but by the early 1740s oratorio had won the day, buoyed by the successes of Messiah in Dublin in 1742 and Samson in London the following year. The ensuing decade saw a stream of notable oratorios, culminating in 1751 in his last masterpiece, Jephtha.

Handel’s greatness as a composer has been acknowledged from his time to ours, even if perceptions of exactly why have changed. During the 19th century and much of the 20th he was seen as the great religious artist, noble master in the oratorios of vast choral sound and intimate pious sentiment, but in recent decades he has come to be appreciated for the more worldly slant of his operas, whose penetrating psychological insight and broad human compassion have won him a position in the front rank of musical dramatists. What has never been in dispute, however, is his easy skill as a composer, his healthy cosmopolitanism, and the sheer tunefulness and charm of his music.

Profile © Lindsay Kemp

George Frideric Handel Biography (Wikipedia)

George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (born Georg Friedrich Händel (listen); 23 February 1685 (O.S.) [(N.S.) 5 March] – 14 April 1759) was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist Winton Dean writes that his operas show that "Handel was not only a great composer; he was a dramatic genius of the first order." As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never composed an Italian opera again. Almost blind, and having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man. His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

George Frideric Handel Performances & Interviews


George Frideric Handel Tracks

George Frideric Handel
Dica il falso, dica il vero -- from Alessandro Act 2 Scene 8
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Dica il falso, dica il vero -- from Alessandro Act 2 Scene 8

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George Frideric Handel
Messiah
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Messiah
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 3 'Worthy is the lamb that was slain'
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Messiah: Part 3 'Worthy is the lamb that was slain'
George Frideric Handel
Belshazzar: Act I 'Oh sacred oracles of truth!'
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Belshazzar: Act I 'Oh sacred oracles of truth!'
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 3 'If God be for us'
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Messiah: Part 3 'If God be for us'
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 3 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 3 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Samson: Act I 'Return O God of hosts'
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Samson: Act I 'Return O God of hosts'
George Frideric Handel
Samson: Act I 'O first created beam!'
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Samson: Act I 'O first created beam!'
George Frideric Handel
Nisi Dominus HWV 238
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Nisi Dominus HWV 238
George Frideric Handel
Te Deum for the Peace of Utrecht, HWV 278 (final movements)
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Te Deum for the Peace of Utrecht, HWV 278 (final movements)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 3 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 3 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Saul: Act I 'Lord whose mercies numberless'
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Saul: Act I 'Lord whose mercies numberless'
George Frideric Handel
But as for his people (Israel in Egypt)
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But as for his people (Israel in Egypt)
George Frideric Handel
Organ Concerto in B flat major, Op 7 No 1 (movements 4-6)
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Organ Concerto in B flat major, Op 7 No 1 (movements 4-6)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 2 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Alexander's Feast: Part 2 'Revenge, Timotheus cries'
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Alexander's Feast: Part 2 'Revenge, Timotheus cries'
George Frideric Handel
L' Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato: As steals the morn
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L' Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato: As steals the morn
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Parts 1 and 2 (extracts)
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Messiah: Parts 1 and 2 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 1 'Rejoice greatly'
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Messiah: Part 1 'Rejoice greatly'
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 1 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 1 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Athalia: Act I 'Gloomy tyrants, we disdain'
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Athalia: Act I 'Gloomy tyrants, we disdain'
George Frideric Handel
Saul: How excellent Thy name
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Saul: How excellent Thy name
George Frideric Handel
Ode to St Cecilia: The Soft Complaining Flute
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Ode to St Cecilia: The Soft Complaining Flute
George Frideric Handel
Concerto a due cori no. 2 in F major HWV.333 (6th mvt)
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Concerto a due cori no. 2 in F major HWV.333 (6th mvt)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto a due cori no. 2 in F major HWV.333 (5th mvt)
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Concerto a due cori no. 2 in F major HWV.333 (5th mvt)
George Frideric Handel
Air: 'Return, O God of hosts' from "Samson", Act 2
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Air: 'Return, O God of hosts' from "Samson", Act 2
George Frideric Handel
Israel in Egypt: Part 1 (extracts)
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Israel in Egypt: Part 1 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 1 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 1 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 1 (extracts)
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Messiah: Part 1 (extracts)
George Frideric Handel
Ode for St Cecilia's Day (As from the power of sacred lays)
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Ode for St Cecilia's Day (As from the power of sacred lays)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
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Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
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Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso in B minor Op.6 No.12
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Concerto grosso in B minor Op.6 No.12
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso in A minor Op.6 No.4
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Concerto grosso in A minor Op.6 No.4
George Frideric Handel
Let us break their bonds asunder (Messiah)
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Let us break their bonds asunder (Messiah)
George Frideric Handel
Organ Concerto in B flat major, HWV 306 (Bourrée)
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Organ Concerto in B flat major, HWV 306 (Bourrée)
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: He Trusted In God
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Messiah: He Trusted In God
George Frideric Handel
Serse - Ombra mai fu
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Serse - Ombra mai fu
George Frideric Handel
Messiah: Part 1, Symphony
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Messiah: Part 1, Symphony
George Frideric Handel
Chaconne and Variations in G major, HWV 435
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Chaconne and Variations in G major, HWV 435
George Frideric Handel
These labours past (Jephtha)
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These labours past (Jephtha)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso in G major, Op 3 No 3
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Concerto Grosso in G major, Op 3 No 3
George Frideric Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks: La Rejouissance
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Music for the Royal Fireworks: La Rejouissance
George Frideric Handel
"Heart, the seat of soft delight", from Acis and Galatea
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"Heart, the seat of soft delight", from Acis and Galatea
George Frideric Handel
Organ Concerto in F major, HWV 295, 'The Cuckoo and the Nightingale'
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Organ Concerto in F major, HWV 295, 'The Cuckoo and the Nightingale'
George Frideric Handel
Allegro From Water Music Suite No. 2 
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Allegro From Water Music Suite No. 2 
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