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
Water Music, HWV 349 (Menuet: Coro)
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Water Music, HWV 349 (Menuet: Coro)

Water Music, HWV 349 (Menuet: Coro)

Orchestra
Gottingen Festival Orchestra

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George Frideric Handel
Ombra mai fu (Serse)
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Ombra mai fu (Serse)
George Frideric Handel
Harpsichord suite in B flat major (set II) HWV 434: Minuet
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Harpsichord suite in B flat major (set II) HWV 434: Minuet
George Frideric Handel
Son Qual Stanco Pellegrino
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Son Qual Stanco Pellegrino
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
Che sento?... Se pietà (Giulio Cesare)
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Che sento?... Se pietà (Giulio Cesare)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto à due cori in F major, HWV 333 (5th & 6th mvt)
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Concerto à due cori in F major, HWV 333 (5th & 6th mvt)
George Frideric Handel
Agrippina - Act III : Come nube che fugge dal vento
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Agrippina - Act III : Come nube che fugge dal vento
George Frideric Handel
Water Music - suite (HWV.350) in G major
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Water Music - suite (HWV.350) in G major
George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op 3 No 5
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Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op 3 No 5
George Frideric Handel
Suite No 2 in F, HWV427
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Suite No 2 in F, HWV427
George Frideric Handel
Aci, Galatea e Polifemo HWV 72, serenata
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Aci, Galatea e Polifemo HWV 72, serenata
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
Organ Concerto in B flat major, HWV 290
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Organ Concerto in B flat major, HWV 290
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso in D major Op.6, No 5
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Concerto grosso in D major Op.6, No 5
George Frideric Handel
Piangerò la sorte mia (excerpt 'Giulio Cesare', HWV 17)
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Piangerò la sorte mia (excerpt 'Giulio Cesare', HWV 17)
George Frideric Handel
Scherza in mar la navicella (excerpt 'Lotario', HWV 26)
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Scherza in mar la navicella (excerpt 'Lotario', HWV 26)
George Frideric Handel
Almira, HWV 1 (Dance Suite)
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Almira, HWV 1 (Dance Suite)

Almira, HWV 1 (Dance Suite)

Orchestra
La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basle
George Frideric Handel
Sento la gioia (Amadigi di Gaula)
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Sento la gioia (Amadigi di Gaula)
George Frideric Handel
Beato in ver chi puo (Italian Duet no.18, HWV.181)
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Beato in ver chi puo (Italian Duet no.18, HWV.181)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso in D Op. 6 no. 5
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Concerto Grosso in D Op. 6 no. 5
George Frideric Handel
Solomon: Bless'd be the Lord...What Though I Trace
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Solomon: Bless'd be the Lord...What Though I Trace
George Frideric Handel
Ombra mai fu
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Ombra mai fu
George Frideric Handel
Piangerò la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare)
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Piangerò la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso (Op.3`3) in G major,
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Concerto grosso (Op.3`3) in G major,
George Frideric Handel
Va tacito (Giulio Cesare)
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Va tacito (Giulio Cesare)
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
May no rash intruder (Solomon)
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May no rash intruder (Solomon)
George Frideric Handel
Return, oh God of Hosts (Samson)
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Return, oh God of Hosts (Samson)
George Frideric Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 (Menuet 1 and 2)
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Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 (Menuet 1 and 2)
George Frideric Handel
Love in her eyes sits playing (Acis and Galatea)
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Love in her eyes sits playing (Acis and Galatea)
George Frideric Handel
My heart is inditing, HWV 261
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My heart is inditing, HWV 261
George Frideric Handel
He shall feed his flock (Messiah)
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He shall feed his flock (Messiah)
George Frideric Handel
Semele: Now Love, That Everlasting Boy
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Semele: Now Love, That Everlasting Boy
George Frideric Handel
Ombra Mai Fu
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Ombra Mai Fu
George Frideric Handel
'Künft'ger Zeiten eitler Kummer' (9 German Arias)
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'Künft'ger Zeiten eitler Kummer' (9 German Arias)
George Frideric Handel
'Flammende Rose, Zierde der Erden' (9 German Arias)
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'Flammende Rose, Zierde der Erden' (9 German Arias)
George Frideric Handel
Menuet (Concert grosso Op. 6 No. 5)
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Menuet (Concert grosso Op. 6 No. 5)
George Frideric Handel
Water Music Suite No.2: II. Alla Hornpipe
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Water Music Suite No.2: II. Alla Hornpipe
George Frideric Handel
Overture (Agrippina); 'Son contenta di morire' (Radamisto)
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Overture (Agrippina); 'Son contenta di morire' (Radamisto)
George Frideric Handel
All we, like sheep, have gone astray (Messiah)
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All we, like sheep, have gone astray (Messiah)
George Frideric Handel
Serse (Overture)
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Serse (Overture)
George Frideric Handel
Organ concerto in G minor Op.7 no.5
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Organ concerto in G minor Op.7 no.5
George Frideric Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351
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Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351
George Frideric Handel
Oft on a plat of rising ground from "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato"
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Oft on a plat of rising ground from "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato"
George Frideric Handel
Organ Concerto in F major, HWV295 'The Cuckoo and the Nightingale' - 5. Allegro
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Organ Concerto in F major, HWV295 'The Cuckoo and the Nightingale' - 5. Allegro
George Frideric Handel
Waft her, Angels (Jephtha)
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Waft her, Angels (Jephtha)
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