George Frideric Handel
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1685-02-23
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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 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
Jephtha (Part 1)
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Jephtha (Part 1)

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George Frideric Handel
Samson: Total Eclipse
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Samson: Total Eclipse
George Frideric Handel
Waft her, Angels (Jephtha)
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Waft her, Angels (Jephtha)
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso in G Major, Op. 6 No. 1, HWV 319: V. Allegro
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Concerto grosso in G Major, Op. 6 No. 1, HWV 319: V. Allegro
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
Ode to St Cecilia: The Soft Complaining Flute
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Ode to St Cecilia: The Soft Complaining Flute
George Frideric Handel
Piangerò la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare)
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Piangerò la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare)
George Frideric Handel
Saul: Symphony, Recitative and Chorus 'Welcome, welcome mighty king'
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Saul: Symphony, Recitative and Chorus 'Welcome, welcome mighty king'
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
Bramo di trionfar from Alcina (Act 1 Scene 8)
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Bramo di trionfar from Alcina (Act 1 Scene 8)
George Frideric Handel
The King shall rejoice - coronation anthem no. 3 HWV.260
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The King shall rejoice - coronation anthem no. 3 HWV.260
George Frideric Handel
Concerto Grosso in D major, Op 3 No 6
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Concerto Grosso in D major, Op 3 No 6
George Frideric Handel
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, from Solomon
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Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, from Solomon
George Frideric Handel
Lasst dies Tat nicht ungerochen (Brockes-Passion)
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Lasst dies Tat nicht ungerochen (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
Brich, mein Herz, Zerfliess in Tranen (Brockes-Passion)
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Brich, mein Herz, Zerfliess in Tranen (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
Symphonia (Brockes-Passion)
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Symphonia (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
Gott selbst (Brockes-Passion)
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Gott selbst (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
Organ Concerto in B flat major, Op.4`2
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Organ Concerto in B flat major, Op.4`2
George Frideric Handel
Soll mein Kind, mein Leben sterben (Brockes-Passion)
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Soll mein Kind, mein Leben sterben (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
Eilt, ihr angefocht'ne Seelen (Brockes-Passion)
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Eilt, ihr angefocht'ne Seelen (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
Symphonia (Brockes-Passion)
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Symphonia (Brockes-Passion)
George Frideric Handel
To thee, thou glorious son (Theodora)
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To thee, thou glorious son (Theodora)
George Frideric Handel
Suite no. 2 in F major HWV.427 for keyboard
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Suite no. 2 in F major HWV.427 for keyboard
George Frideric Handel
Brockes-Passion
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Brockes-Passion
George Frideric Handel
Ah mio cor (Alcina)
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Ah mio cor (Alcina)
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
Water music - suite (HWV.350) in G major, Country dance
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Water music - suite (HWV.350) in G major, Country dance
George Frideric Handel
'Behold I tell you a mystery' and 'The trumpet shall sound' from the Messiah
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'Behold I tell you a mystery' and 'The trumpet shall sound' from the Messiah
George Frideric Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 (Overture)
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Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 (Overture)
George Frideric Handel
Menuet in G minor HWV 434
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Menuet in G minor HWV 434
George Frideric Handel
Concerto grosso Op. 3 No. 4 in F major
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Concerto grosso Op. 3 No. 4 in F major
George Frideric Handel
Empio, dirò, tu sei (Giulio Cesare)
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Empio, dirò, tu sei (Giulio Cesare)
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
Cara speme (from Julius Caesar)
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Cara speme (from Julius Caesar)
George Frideric Handel
Aure, deh, per pietà spirate (from Julius Caesar)
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Aure, deh, per pietà spirate (from Julius Caesar)
George Frideric Handel
Zadok the priest - coronation anthem no. 1 (HWV.258)
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Zadok the priest - coronation anthem no. 1 (HWV.258)
George Frideric Handel
Amadigi di Gaula (Overture)
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Amadigi di Gaula (Overture)
George Frideric Handel
'Polonaise' from Concerto grosso, op.6 no.3 in E minor, HWV 321
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'Polonaise' from Concerto grosso, op.6 no.3 in E minor, HWV 321
George Frideric Handel
Da tempeste il legno infranto (from Giulio Cesare)
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Da tempeste il legno infranto (from Giulio Cesare)
George Frideric Handel
Hallelujah Chorus
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Hallelujah Chorus
George Frideric Handel
Saul, Act 3: Dead March
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Saul, Act 3: Dead March
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
Spirit Music (Nos.1 to 4) - from Alcina
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Spirit Music (Nos.1 to 4) - from Alcina
George Frideric Handel
Trio Sonata in G major, HWV.384
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Trio Sonata in G major, HWV.384
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
Theme and Variations arr for harp
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Theme and Variations arr for harp

Theme and Variations arr for harp

Performer
Manja Smits
Music Arranger
Unknown
George Frideric Handel
V. Presto from Concerto for Recorder in F Major
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V. Presto from Concerto for Recorder in F Major
George Frideric Handel
Se pieta di me non senti (Guilio Cesare)
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Se pieta di me non senti (Guilio Cesare)
George Frideric Handel
Agrippina - Act III Scene 14: Se vuoi pace, o volto amato
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Agrippina - Act III Scene 14: Se vuoi pace, o volto amato
George Frideric Handel
Agrippina - Act 1 Scene 12: Tu ben degno
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Agrippina - Act 1 Scene 12: Tu ben degno
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