Tuesday, October 1, 2019
George F. Handel
George F. Handel Brittany Shellem March 11, 2013 Monday 6:00pm Shellem 1 George F. Handel, a man born in the same time as Johann Sebastian Bach, has been recognized as one of the most underrated Baroque composers. Handel was born in the same time as Bach and only 50 miles away. This could largely be related to the reason why Handel is so underrated. Handel spent a large part of his childhood sneaking away and playing instruments behind his father's back. With his mother's assistance, Handel learned how to play the organ and eventually won his father's consent to study music.Success in music as a child led him to compose pieces and write operas. In the early part of Handel's life he spent time playing the organ for the Calvinist Cathedral. After his stay with the Calvinist Cathedral, Handel played violin and harpsichord for the only opera company in Germany that existed outside the royal courts, and also taught private lessons. Having inspiration from playing in an opera, George Hande l wrote his first opera, Almira in 1704. Handel found great success in his opera. The opera was performed twenty times in total until its place was aken by Handel's next opera, Nero. After his newly found success Shellem 2 George Handel moved to Italy in 1706 where he gained a wealth of knowledge on setting Italian lyrics to voice. In 1710, Geoge Handel was appointed Kapellmeister at Hanover, but soon took leave to London. Then, in 1719, he became musical director of the Royal Academy of Music. Much of Handel's time during the 1720's and 1730's was spent composing operas. While in the midst of his operas, Handel found the time to compose many other works. During the last few years of the 1730's, Handels operas were not as uccessful. Facing his own mortality in the opera world, Handel responded by focusing more on oratorio. Handel is best known for his usage of oratorios, choral dramas that emphasize arias and recitations. His use of choruses and religious sentiment in these pieces e volved into a new form of musical entertainment. Similar to operas, but devoid of scenery, the oratorio became a genre of its own. George Handel's focus on composing paid off when he composed the wildly successful oratorio, Messiah which was originally sung by a choir of 16 and an orchestra of 40.Tickets sold for atrocious amounts and music lovers publicized it constantly. Handel left Dublin for the Shellem 3 premiere of the piece. Unfortunately, Messiah was unsuccessful as audiences could not acclimate themselves to Handel's use of prose instead of a poetic text. Handel was a unique musician who did not limit his life work to operas and oratorios. He wrote anthems, psalms, and chamber music as well. Handel endured changes in his public life repeatedly throughout his career. Unfortunately, towards the close of his life he suffered from aralytic strokes and cataracts that ultimately left him blind. Despite his inability to see, Handel continued to perform and conduct. He was an inspi ration to other composers and musicians and died shortly after a performance of Messiah. Beethoven admired Handel's strength and creativity. Beethoven is quoted as saying, Ã¢â¬Å"Handel is the greatest composer who ever lived. I would bare my head and kneel at his graveÃ¢â¬ (1824). It would seem as if the earlier saying of Handel being one of the most underrated composers would be untrue.How can one man who accomplished so much and who was admired by so many of his peers be pushed under the rug? George Handel was a great musician and a strong Shellem 4 human being whose commitment to music withstood the rise and fall of his popularity. Works Cited Lang, Paul H. George Friderick Handel. New York: Courier Dover Publications, 1966. Print. Burrows, Donald. Master Musicians Handel. New York: Oxford UP, 1994. Print. Barber, David W. , and David C. Donald. Getting a Handel on Messiah. Toronto: Sound and Vision, 1994. Print.