Il pastor fido. Rossi , nach G. Haym , nach P. Lucio Cornelio Silla. Haym , nach A. Haym , nach D. Rolli , nach S. Akt: F. Amadei; 2. Akt: G. Rolli , nach F. Silvani : La costanza in trionfo. Haym , nach S.
Pallavicino : Teofane. Haym , nach M. Noris: Flavio Cuniberto. Haym , nach G. Pradon: Tamerlan. Salvi , nach P. Corneille : Pertharite. Publio Cornelio Scipione. Rolli , nach A. Rolli , nach O. Mauro, nach A. Briani: Isacio tiranno. Haym , nach Pietro Metastasio. His parents were Georg Handel, a distinguished barber-surgeon, and his mother, Dorothea. Handel was born in the same year as Domenico Scarlatti and Johann Sebastian Bach and is considered to be among the best Baroque era composers with several famous works.
Over his musical career, Handel composed over forty operas, in addition to many instrumentals and oratorios. Read also: Interesting Handel Facts. Although he was born in Germany, he later became a naturalized citizen of Great Britain. There he also started three commercial opera companies, supplying the nobility in England with Italian operas.
Handel was not only considered to be a great composer, but was also thought to be a genius as well. By the time of his death, he had unfortunately become mostly blind, but he was a beloved and respected man who had amassed many riches. Buried in Westminster Abbey, he was given full honors.
Handel was born in and had two younger sisters, Dorthea Sophia, born in , and Johanna Christiana, born in Handel reportedly attended a gymnasium in his hometown of Halle. There, Johann Praetorius , the headmaster, was believed to have been a very enthusiastic musician.
Furthermore, Georg also prevented his son from visiting anyone who may have been in possession of an instrument as well. However, this had the opposite effect on Handel.
Instead of impeding his desire to be involved with music, it made his desire even stronger. Handel secreted a small clavichord to an attic room of their house. Whenever the family was asleep, he would steal up to this attic room, teaching himself to play.
There are some historians who believe this to be a purely fantastical tale. However, it would account for how well experienced he was on the keyboard, subsequently impressing the Weissenfels which resulted in his being given formal musical training.
Handel was a very young boy, between the ages of seven and nine, when he accompanied his father to the Weissenfels. The Duke was such a man whose recommendations rarely went unheeded. Nonetheless, he was also familiar with more recent developments in music as well and seemed to think his own compositions included the newer, more dramatic style.
Upon discovering how talented Handel was, Zachow introduced Handel to a number of both Italian and German music which offered a variety of different styles, schools, and mastery. During this time, Handel also continued to practice on the harpsichord, in addition to learning both the organ and violin.
However, they were only written for small audiences and have all been lost over time. Zachow made Handel practice all these scores of music by having him copy a selection of them. Handel kept the notebook in which he copied these selected scores, maintaining it throughout his lifetime. Sadly, the notebook has since disappeared, but it had been described sufficiently enough to know which particular scores Zachow had him study, or at least some of them. Among the composers Handel studied most were Georg Muffat, whose combination of Italian and French styles along with his blending of musical forms greatly influenced Handle, Johann Jakob Froberger, who was an internationalist also meticulously reviewed by Bach and Buxtehude, Johann Caspar Kerll, who represented southern style after his own teacher and also later imitated by Handel, and Johann Krieger, a distinguished organ composer who was considered to be an old master in fugue.
During this time, Zachow began allowing Handel to take over some of his duties in the church and he performed on the organ regularly.
Handle began composing for both voice and instruments around the age of nine. After that, he composed at least one service each week successfully for three years. Many believe that it only took Handle three to four years to surpass Zachow in terms of talent and ability.
Nonetheless, Handel grew bored, needing something more challenging. After much consideration, it was decided that Handel would go to Berlin. According to what information there is, Handel began traveling to Berlin the following year. However, there is not enough pertinent information to either back this up nor to say with any authority what he did while there.
The university was fairly new, having only been founded in It was largely created by the Elector in order to provide a forum in which the jurist Christian Thomasius might lecture. He had recently been put out of Leipzig due to his liberal views.
Thomasius was a religious crusader, an academic, and an intellectual who was the first German erudite to give a lesson in the language. He was a staunch advocate of separation of church and state, markedly condemning the witch trials, which were widespread at the time.
Furthermore, Handel also met a theologian who was an Oriental languages professor, August Hermann Francke, and who was especially concerned about children, orphans in particular. Throughout his London career he had suffered competition not only from rival composers but also from rival opera houses in a London that could barely support even one Italian opera in addition to its English theatres.
Finally, in , his company went bankrupt and he himself suffered what appears to have been a mild stroke. After a course of treatment at Aachen Germany , he was restored to health and went on to compose the Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline and two of his most celebrated oratorios, Saul and Israel in Egypt , both of which were performed in He also wrote the Twelve Grand Concertos , Op.
Handel was by this time at the height of his powers, and the year saw the composition of his greatest oratorio, Messiah , and its inspired successor, Samson. Messiah was given its first performance in Dublin on April 13, , and created a deep impression. Handel had by this time made oratorio and large-scale choral works the most popular musical forms in England. He had created for himself a new public among the rising middle classes, who would have turned away in moral indignation from the Italian opera but who were quite ready to be edified by a moral tale from the Bible, set to suitably dignified and, by now, rather old-fashioned music.
Handel now began to experience trouble with his sight. He managed with great difficulty to finish the last of his oratorios, Jephtha , which was performed at Covent Garden Theatre, London, in He kept his interest in musical activities alive until the end. George Frideric Handel. Article Media. These concerts were so popular that a second series was quickly arranged; Messiah figured in neither series. In early March Handel began discussions with the appropriate committees for a charity concert, to be given in April, at which he intended to present Messiah.
He sought and was given permission from St Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals to use their choirs for this occasion. The women soloists were Christina Maria Avoglio , who had sung the main soprano roles in the two subscription series, and Susannah Cibber , an established stage actress and contralto who had sung in the second series. Handel had his own organ shipped to Ireland for the performances; a harpsichord was probably also used.
The three charities that were to benefit were prisoners' debt relief, the Mercer's Hospital, and the Charitable Infirmary.
Delaney, was so overcome by Susanna Cibber's rendering of "He was despised" that reportedly he leapt to his feet and cried: "Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee!
Handel remained in Dublin for four months after the premiere. He organised a second performance of Messiah on 3 June, which was announced as "the last Performance of Mr Handel's during his Stay in this Kingdom".
In this second Messiah , which was for Handel's private financial benefit, Cibber reprised her role from the first performance, though Avoglio may have been replaced by a Mrs Maclaine;  details of other performers are not recorded.
The warm reception accorded to Messiah in Dublin was not repeated in London when Handel introduced the work at the Covent Garden theatre on 23 March Avoglio and Cibber were again the chief soloists; they were joined by the tenor John Beard , a veteran of Handel's operas, the bass Thomas Rheinhold and two other sopranos, Kitty Clive and Miss Edwards. In an attempt to deflect such sensibilities, in London Handel had avoided the name Messiah and presented the work as the "New Sacred Oratorio".
He wrote a new setting of "And lo, the angel of the Lord" for Clive, never used subsequently. He added a tenor song for Beard: "Their sound is gone out", which had appeared in Jennens's original libretto but had not been in the Dublin performances. The custom of standing for the "Hallelujah" chorus originates from a belief that, at the London premiere, King George II did so, which would have obliged all to stand. There is no convincing evidence that the king was present, or that he attended any subsequent performance of Messiah ; the first reference to the practice of standing appears in a letter dated , three years prior to Handel's death.
London's initially cool reception of Messiah led Handel to reduce the season's planned six performances to three, and not to present the work at all in —to the considerable annoyance of Jennens, whose relations with the composer temporarily soured.
I have with great difficulty made him correct some of the grosser faults in the composition The revival at Covent Garden, under the proper title of Messiah , saw the appearance of two female soloists who were henceforth closely associated with Handel's music: Giulia Frasi and Caterina Galli. In the following year these were joined by the male alto Gaetano Guadagni , for whom Handel composed new versions of "But who may abide" and "Thou art gone up on high".
The year also saw the institution of the annual charity performances of Messiah at London's Foundling Hospital , which continued until Handel's death and beyond. The orchestra included fifteen violins, five violas, three cellos, two double-basses, four bassoons, four oboes, two trumpets, two horns and drums.
In the chorus of nineteen were six trebles from the Chapel Royal; the remainder, all men, were altos, tenors and basses. Frasi, Galli and Beard led the five soloists, who were required to assist the chorus. During the s Messiah was performed increasingly at festivals and cathedrals throughout the country. The orchestra employed was two hundred and fifty strong, including twelve horns, twelve trumpets, six trombones and three pairs of timpani some made especially large.
In continental Europe, performances of Messiah were departing from Handel's practices in a different way: his score was being drastically reorchestrated to suit contemporary tastes. In the 19th century, approaches to Handel in German and English-speaking countries diverged further. Messiah was presented in New York in with a chorus of and in Boston in with more than In the s and s ever larger forces were assembled.
Bernard Shaw , in his role as a music critic, commented, "The stale wonderment which the great chorus never fails to elicit has already been exhausted";  he later wrote, "Why, instead of wasting huge sums on the multitudinous dullness of a Handel Festival does not somebody set up a thoroughly rehearsed and exhaustively studied performance of the Messiah in St James's Hall with a chorus of twenty capable artists?
Most of us would be glad to hear the work seriously performed once before we die. Many admirers of Handel believed that the composer would have made such additions, had the appropriate instruments been available in his day.
One reason for the popularity of huge-scale performances was the ubiquity of amateur choral societies. The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham wrote that for years the chorus was "the national medium of musical utterance" in Britain.
However, after the heyday of Victorian choral societies, he noted a "rapid and violent reaction against monumental performances Bourne pioneered revivals of Messiah in Handel's orchestration, and Bourne's work was the basis for further scholarly versions in the early 20th century. Although the huge-scale oratorio tradition was perpetuated by such large ensembles as the Royal Choral Society , the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Huddersfield Choral Society in the 20th century,  there were increasing calls for performances more faithful to Handel's conception.
At the turn of the century, The Musical Times wrote of the "additional accompaniments" of Mozart and others, "Is it not time that some of these 'hangers on' of Handel's score were sent about their business? With our large choral societies, additional accompaniments of some kind are a necessity for an effective performance; and the question is not so much whether, as how they are to be written.
Prout continued the practice of adding flutes, clarinets and trombones to Handel's orchestration, but he restored Handel's high trumpet parts, which Mozart had omitted evidently because playing them was a lost art by In Germany, Messiah was not so often performed as in Britain;  when it was given, medium-sized forces were the norm. At the Handel Festival held in in Handel's native town, Halle, his choral works were given by a choir of and an orchestra of For example, in , Beecham conducted a recording of Messiah with modestly sized forces and controversially brisk tempi, although the orchestration remained far from authentic.
Recordings on LP and CD were preponderantly of the latter type, and the large scale Messiah came to seem old-fashioned. The cause of authentic performance was advanced in by the publication of a new edition of the score, edited by Watkins Shaw.
In the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , David Scott writes, "the edition at first aroused suspicion on account of its attempts in several directions to break the crust of convention surrounding the work in the British Isles. Messiah remains Handel's best-known work, with performances particularly popular during the Advent season;  writing in December , the music critic Alex Ross refers to that month's 21 performances in New York alone as "numbing repetition".
Indeed if they are not prepared to grapple with the problems presented by the score they ought not to conduct it. This applies not only to the choice of versions, but to every aspect of baroque practice, and of course there are often no final answers.
The numbering of the movements shown here is in accordance with the Novello vocal score , edited by Watkins Shaw, which adapts the numbering earlier devised by Ebenezer Prout. Scene 1 : Isaiah's prophecy of salvation. Scene 3 : The prophecy of Christ's birth. Scene 4 : The annunciation to the shepherds. Scene 5 : Christ's healing and redemption. Scene 2 : Christ's Death and Resurrection. Scene 4 : Christ's reception in Heaven.
Scene 5 : The beginnings of Gospel preaching. Scene 6 : The world's rejection of the Gospel. Scene 7 : God's ultimate victory. Scene 1 : The promise of eternal life. Scene 2 : The Day of Judgment.
Scene 3 : The final conquest of sin. Scene 4 : The acclamation of the Messiah. Handel's music for Messiah is distinguished from most of his other oratorios by an orchestral restraint—a quality which the musicologist Percy M. Young observes was not adopted by Mozart and other later arrangers of the music.Apr 17, · George Frideric Handel Biography. George Frideric Handel, a German Baroque composer who later quite identified as British, was born in Halle, Germany on February 23, His parents were Georg Handel, a distinguished barber-surgeon, and his mother, Dorothea.