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  1. George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (/ ˈ h æ n d əl /; baptised Georg Fried(e)rich Händel, German: [ˈɡeːɔʁk ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈhɛndl̩] ⓘ; 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti grossi, and organ concertos.

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    • Life

    George Frideric Handel, a German-born English composer of the late Baroque era, was known particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions. He wrote the most famous of all oratorios, Messiah (1741).

    What was George Frideric Handel’s early life like?

    George Frideric Handel showed a marked gift for music at an early age, becoming a skilled keyboard player by age 9. Although his father did not like the idea of his son pursuing a career in music, Handel followed his musical inclination, later becoming well known for his compositions.

    When was George Frideric Handel born?

    George Frideric Handel was born on February 23, 1685, in Halle, Brandenburg (now in Germany).

    George Frideric Handel (born February 23, 1685, Halle, Brandenburg [Germany]—died April 14, 1759, London, England) was a German-born English composer of the late Baroque era, noted particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions. He wrote the most famous of all oratorios, Messiah (1741), and is also known for such occasional pieces as Water Music (1717) and Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749).

    Handel was the son of a barber-surgeon. He showed a marked gift for music and became a pupil in Halle of the composer Friedrich W. Zachow, learning the principles of keyboard performance and composition from him. His father died when Handel was 11, but his education had been provided for, and in 1702 he enrolled as a law student at the University of Halle. He also became organist of the Reformed (Calvinist) Cathedral in Halle, but he served for only one year before going north to Hamburg, where greater opportunities awaited him. In Hamburg, Handel joined the violin section of the opera orchestra. He also took over some of the duties of harpsichordist, and early in 1705 he presided over the premiere in Hamburg of his first opera, Almira.

    Handel spent the years 1706–10 traveling in Italy, where he met many of the greatest Italian musicians of the day, including Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti and his son Domenico. He composed many works in Italy, including two operas, numerous Italian solo cantatas (vocal compositions), Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno (1707) and another oratorio, the serenata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (1708), and some Latin (i.e., Roman Catholic) church music. His opera Agrippina enjoyed a sensational success at its premiere in Venice in 1710.

    Handel’s years in Italy greatly influenced the development of his musical style. His fame had spread throughout Italy, and his mastery of the Italian opera style now made him an international figure. In 1710 he was appointed Kapellmeister to the elector of Hanover, the future King George I of England, and later that year Handel journeyed to England. In 1711 his opera Rinaldo was performed in London and was greeted so enthusiastically that Handel sensed the possibility of continuing popularity and prosperity in England. In 1712 he went back to London for the production of his operas Il pastor fido and Teseo (1713). In 1713 he won his way into royal favour by his Ode for the Queen’s Birthday and the Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate in celebration of the Peace of Utrecht, and he was granted an annual allowance of £200 by Queen Anne.

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    Composers & Their Music

    Recognized by prominent members of both the English aristocracy and the intelligentsia, Handel was in no hurry to return to Hanover. Soon he had no need to do so, for on the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the elector George Louis became King George I of England. In 1718 Handel became director of music to the duke of Chandos, for whom he composed the 11 Chandos Anthems and the English masque Acis and Galatea, among other works. Another masque, Haman and Mordecai, was to be the effective starting point for the English oratorio.

    • Charles Cudworth
  2. Apr 2, 2014 · Learn about the life and works of George Frideric Handel, a Baroque composer who composed operas, oratorios and instrumentals. Find out his famous compositions, such as 'Messiah', and his early musical influences and career in Germany and Italy.

  3. George Frideric Handel - Composer, Baroque, Oratorio: The first basis of Handel’s style was the north German music of his childhood, but it was soon completely overlaid by the Italian style that he acquired in early adulthood during his travels in Italy. The influences of Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti can be detected in his work ...

  4. George Frideric Handel, orig. Georg Friedrich Händel, (born Feb. 23, 1685, Halle, Brandenburg—died April 14, 1759, London, Eng.), German-born British composer. Born to a barber-surgeon in Halle, he showed a marked gift for music and studied organ, violin, and composition.

  5. Learn about the life and works of George Frideric Handel, a German-British baroque composer who wrote operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Find out his most famous pieces, such as the Messiah's 'Hallelujah' chorus and Music for the Royal Fireworks, and watch videos of his performances.

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