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 Friederich 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
Zadok the priest, HWV 258
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Zadok the priest, HWV 258

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George Frideric Handel
Keyboard Suite in F major, HWV 427
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Keyboard Suite in F major, HWV 427
George Frideric Handel
3 Airs from Vauxhall Gardens
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3 Airs from Vauxhall Gardens
George Frideric Handel
Trio Sonata in B flat major, HWV 380
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Trio Sonata in B flat major, HWV 380
George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso In B Minor, Op. 6, No. 12: Larghetto
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Concerto Grosso In B Minor, Op. 6, No. 12: Larghetto
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso in D major Op.3`6
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Concerto grosso in D major Op.3`6
George Frideric Handel
Trio Sonata in G major, HWV.384
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Trio Sonata in G major, HWV.384
George Frideric Handel
Jephtha, Act II: When His loud voice in thunder spoke
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Jephtha, Act II: When His loud voice in thunder spoke
George Frideric Handel
Keyboard Suite in E major, HWV 430 (Courante)
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Keyboard Suite in E major, HWV 430 (Courante)
George Frideric Handel
Ode For St.Cecili'as Day, last mvt: As from the pow'r of sacred lays
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Ode For St.Cecili'as Day, last mvt: As from the pow'r of sacred lays
George Frideric Handel
Water music - suite in D major HWV.349
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Water music - suite in D major HWV.349
George Frideric Handel
"Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori" (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)
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"Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori" (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)
George Frideric Handel
Hush, ye pretty warbling choir (Acis and Galatea)
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Hush, ye pretty warbling choir (Acis and Galatea)
George Frideric Handel
'Va tacito e nascosto' (Giulio Cesare)
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'Va tacito e nascosto' (Giulio Cesare)
George Frideric Handel
Water Music - Suites 1, 3 & 2 HWV 348-350
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Water Music - Suites 1, 3 & 2 HWV 348-350
George Frideric Handel
Tu vivi e punito from Ariodante
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Tu vivi e punito from Ariodante

Tu vivi e punito from Ariodante

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Classical Opera Orchestra
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George Frideric Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351
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Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351
George Frideric Handel
These labours past (Jephtha)
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These labours past (Jephtha)
George Frideric Handel
Suite in D major, HWV 349, 'Water Music' (Alla hornpipe)
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Suite in D major, HWV 349, 'Water Music' (Alla hornpipe)
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
Pensieri, voi mi tormentate (Agrippina)
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Pensieri, voi mi tormentate (Agrippina)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso in G major, Op 6 No 1
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Concerto Grosso in G major, Op 6 No 1
George Frideric Handel
Air with variations, 'The Harmonious Blacksmith' (Suite No 5 in E major)
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Air with variations, 'The Harmonious Blacksmith' (Suite No 5 in E major)
George Frideric Handel
Aria "Lascia la spina" - from the oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno
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Aria "Lascia la spina" - from the oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno
George Frideric Handel
Gentle Morpheus, son of night (Calliope's song) from Alceste
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Gentle Morpheus, son of night (Calliope's song) from Alceste
George Frideric Handel
"Harmonious Blacksmith" - Aria with Variations (HWV.430)
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"Harmonious Blacksmith" - Aria with Variations (HWV.430)
George Frideric Handel
Zadok The Priest
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Zadok The Priest
George Frideric Handel
Sarabande (Main Title)
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Sarabande (Main Title)
George Frideric Handel
Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435
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Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435
George Frideric Handel
Venti turbini (Rinaldo)
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Venti turbini (Rinaldo)
George Frideric Handel
Prelude & Alla Hornpipe (Water Music Suite in F, HWV.348)
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Prelude & Alla Hornpipe (Water Music Suite in F, HWV.348)
George Frideric Handel
Spirit Music (Nos.1 to 4) - from Alcina
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Spirit Music (Nos.1 to 4) - from Alcina
George Frideric Handel
Alcina (Overture)
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Alcina (Overture)
George Frideric Handel
Water music - suite (HWV.349) in D major
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Water music - suite (HWV.349) in D major
George Frideric Handel
Gigue (Tunes for Clay's Musical Clock)
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Gigue (Tunes for Clay's Musical Clock)
George Frideric Handel
Deborah - Oratorio In 3 Acts
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Deborah - Oratorio In 3 Acts
George Frideric Handel
Sinfonia, 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' (Solomon)
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Sinfonia, 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' (Solomon)
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
Lascia la spina, from Il Trionfo del tempo e del disinganno
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Lascia la spina, from Il Trionfo del tempo e del disinganno
George Frideric Handel
O Ruddier than the cherry
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O Ruddier than the cherry
George Frideric Handel
Dance Suite: III. Sarabanda (From Almira, HWV 1)
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Dance Suite: III. Sarabanda (From Almira, HWV 1)
George Frideric Handel
Organ Concerto in F major, HWV 293
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Organ Concerto in F major, HWV 293
George Frideric Handel
Aria: Cara sposa, amante cara from Rinaldo (Act 1 Scene 7)
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Aria: Cara sposa, amante cara from Rinaldo (Act 1 Scene 7)
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
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.3'4
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Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.3'4
George Frideric Handel
Passacaille in G Major, HWV 399
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Passacaille in G Major, HWV 399
George Frideric Handel
Dove sei, amato bene (Rodelinda)
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Dove sei, amato bene (Rodelinda)
George Frideric Handel
My heart is inditing
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My heart is inditing
George Frideric Handel
Pensieri notturni di Filli: Italian cantata No 17, HWV 134
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Pensieri notturni di Filli: Italian cantata No 17, HWV 134
George Frideric Handel
Sarabande Duel
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Sarabande Duel
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