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Composing his music in the baroque period, one could say he was fixing things.
While in comparison to some later composer’s works it could be said his music a
little more BASSic, but that could get you into Treble among die-hard fans- and
getting into a Quaver without an Altonative may be too much “violins” to Handel.
So moving forward (never to the Bach), I will present George Frideric Handel
Born 1685 in Hall, Germany to barber/surgeon father and mother.
o Born same year as composers Bach and Scarlatti
With support from mother studied music
o Was well educated in styles of other countries
 Even a bit famous for borrowing styles and ideas from composers
 When asked why he borrowed material composed by Bononcini,
Handel was said to have replied, “It’s much too good for him; he
did not know what to do with it.”
o Studied law at University of halle to humor father
o When father died, quit law and pursued music
 First becoming an organist at a Protestant Cathedral
 Two years later moved to Hamburg performing violin and
harpsichord in an orchestra, also producing his first two operas,
Almira and Nero the following year.
 Also traveled to Italy during this time.
 Three years later produced two more, Daphne and Florindo.
 His Agrippina at Venice in 1709 ran for an unprecedented 27
performances, showing remarkable maturity and established his
reputation as an opera composer.
 During an opera ban by the pope, found work writing sacred
o Went to live in London, writing for various royalties.
o Started The Royal Academy of Music- a company producing Italian
operas until they began to go out of style. Took the company elsewhere
and began writing in less expensive operas that also happened to be in
 Wrote anthems for coronations of new kings. Zadok the Priest, one
of his compositions, is still used today.
 Wrote the Messiah and presented its first performance in Ireland. It
is said that the king was so moved that he rose to his feet during
the Hallelujah Chorus. This has now become a tradition in modern
 Later in life suffered from stroke and blindness. Near the end of his
life, blind, still continued to perform on the organ and continued to
compose music by dictating it to a friend who wrote it down.
As a simple rule, "slow" movements should move along gracefully, never drag, while
"fast" movements should never express haste, and should always respect the player of the
fastest notes, so that every note is distinct.
It is claimed also that vibrato was never used until after the death of Bach, but it is
Bach apparently said "[Handel] is the only person I would wish to see before I
die, and the only person I would wish to be, were I not Bach."
Mozart is reputed to have said of him, "Handel understands effect better than any
of us. When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt",
Beethoven he was "the master of us all".
Died April 14th 1759 and buried in Westminster Abbey and is still regarded as one
of England’s greatest composers.
Zadok the Priest (HWV 258) is a coronation anthem composed by George Frideric
Handel (1685–1759) using texts from the King James Bible. It is one of the four
Coronation Anthems that Handel composed for the coronation of George II of Great
Britain in 1727.[1] and has been sung at every subsequent British coronation service.
It is traditionally performed during the sovereign's anointing.
The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often considered as three
suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. It premiered in the summer of 1717 (July
17, 1717) when King George I requested a concert on the River Thames. The concert was
performed by 50 musicians playing on a barge close to the royal barge from which the
King listened with some close friends (including the Duchess of of Bolton, the Duchess
of Newcastle, the Countess of Godolphin, Madam Kilmarnock, and the Earl of Orkney).
George I was said to have loved it so much that he ordered the exhausted musicians to
play the suites three times on the trip.
Handel’s Messiah:
In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this
section of the performance. Tradition has it that King George II rose to his feet at this
point. As the first notes of the triumphant Hallelujah Chorus rang out, the king rose.
Royal protocol has always demanded that whenever the monarch stands, so does
everyone in the monarch's presence. Thus, the entire audience stood too, initiating a
tradition that has lasted more than two centuries. It is lost to history the exact reason
why the King stood at that point, but the most popular explanations include:
As was and is the custom, one stands in the presence of royalty as a sign of
respect. The Hallelujah chorus clearly places Christ as the King of Kings. In
standing, King George II accepts that he too is subject to Lord of Lords.
He was so moved by the performance that he rose to his feet.
He arrived late to the performance, and the crowd rose when he finally made an
His gut acted up at that precise moment and he rose to relieve the discomfort.
After an hour of musical performance, he needed to stretch his legs
Works Cited
Baroque Music Defined. Michael Sartorius.
DSO Kids. Handel.
Handelian Anecotes. Last modified: 23 December