George Frederick Handel (1685 1759) was a German born, English composer.
Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach were the last of the Baroque Masters. Duringhis lifetime, Handel was known mainly as an opera composer and producer, but hisfame today came mainly on his English oratories, especially The Messiah (1742). His music has strength and simplicity. Handels operas are not often heard,but Largo, an aria from Serse, and other selections are sometimes playedin concerts.
Handel was born in Halle and attended the University of Halle as astudent of law due to his fathers wishes. During his education there hisinterest in music awakened and this was aided by the three years of lessonsgiven to him by an organ player Wilhelm Zachow. In 1697 Handels father died,and no longer being subject to his wishes, Handel left Halle and went to Hamburgas a violin player in an orchestra. This spoiled his chances of becoming alawyer but improved his chances of success as an artist. Young Handel became askilled organist and harpsichordist, and after playing with an opera company inHamburg went to Italy in 1706 to study opera. In 1710 Handel became court musicdirector for the elector of Hanover.Order now
He immediately afterwards took a leave ofabsence and visited London for six months. He returned to London in 1712. Hispatron was crowned King of England in 1714 and Handel remained, becoming aBritish subject in 1726. For more than 15 years Handel composed and producedItalian opera in London.
Following the success of The Beggars Opera (1728),by Gay and Pepusch, Italian opera lost favor and Handel turn to oratorios. George Frederick Handel eventually became blind, much like J. S. Bach, and diedin 1759. BibliographyGeorge Frederick HandelEncyclopedia Britannica Inc. The NewEncyclopedia Britannica.
Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 1991.Anonymous epitaph, printed in a newspaper on 21 April 1759 Music and Musicians