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George Frideric Handel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel

(/ˈhændəl/;[a] born Georg Friedrich Händel,[b] George Frideric Handel
German pronunciation: [ˈhɛndəl]; 23 February 1685
(O.S.) [(N.S.) 5 March] – 14 April 1759)[2][c]
was a German, later British baroque composer
who spent the bulk of his career in London,
becoming well known for his operas, oratorios,
anthems, and organ concertos. Handel received
important training in Halle and worked as a
composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in
London in 1712; he became a naturalised British
subject in 1727.[4] He was strongly influenced
both by the great composers of the Italian
Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic
choral tradition. Portrait of Handel, by Balthasar Denner
(c. 1726–1728)
Within fifteen years, Handel had started three
Born Georg Friedrich Händel
commercial opera companies to supply the
English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist 23 February 1685 (O.S.)
Winton Dean writes that his operas show that Halle
"Handel was not only a great composer; he was a Died 14 April 1759 (aged 74)
dramatic genius of the first order." As London
Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Resting place Westminster Abbey
Handel made a transition to English choral
works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he Signature
never composed an Italian opera again. Almost
blind, and having lived in England for nearly
fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich
man. His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of
the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal
Fireworks and Messiah remaining steadfastly popular.[6] One of his four Coronation Anthems,
Zadok the Priest (1727), composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every
subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Handel composed
more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque
music and historically informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown.

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1 Halle: Handel's early years
1.1 Family
1.2 Handel's early education
1.3 Musical education
1.4 After the death of Handel's father
1.5 University
1.6 Handel's Halle compositions
2 From Halle to Italy
3 Move to London
3.1 Cannons (1717–18)
3.2 Royal Academy of Music (1719–34)
3.3 Opera at Covent Garden (1734–41)
3.4 Oratorio
4 Later years
5 Works
5.1 Catalogues
6 Legacy
6.1 Reception
6.2 Borrowings
6.3 Homages
6.4 Veneration
6.5 Fictional depictions
7 See also
8 Notes, references and sources
8.1 Notes
8.2 References
8.3 Sources
9 External links

Halle: Handel's early years


Handel was born in 1685 in Halle-on-Saal, Duchy of Magdeburg, to Georg Händel and Dorothea
Taust.[7] His father, 63 when George Frideric was born, was an eminent barber-surgeon who served
the court of Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg.[8]

Georg Händel (1622–97) was the son of a coppersmith, Valentin Händel who had emigrated from

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Eisleben in 1608 with his first wife Anna Belching, the

daughter of a master coppersmith. They were Protestants and
chose reliably Protestant Saxony over Silesia, a Hapsburg
possession as religious tensions mounted in the years before the
Thirty Years War.[9] Halle was a relatively prosperous city,
home of a salt-mining industry and center of trade (and member
of the Hanseatic League).[10] The Margrave of Brandenburg
became the administrator of the archiepiscopal territories of
Handel's baptismal registration
Mainz (including Magdeburg when they converted, and by the
(Marienbibliothek in Halle)
early 17th century held his court in Halle, which attracted
renowned musicians.[d] Even the smaller churches all had "able
organists and fair choirs,"[e] and humanities and the letters thrived (Shakespeare was performed in
the theaters early in the 17th century).[12] The Thirty Years War brought extensive destruction to
Halle, and by the 1680s it was impoverished.[9] But since the middle of the war the city was under
the administration of the Duke of Saxony, and soon after the end of the war he would bring
musicians trained in Dresden to his court in Weissenfels.[13]

The arts and music, however, flourished only among the higher
strata (not only in Halle but throughout Germany),[14] which did
not describe Handel's family. Georg Händel was born at the
beginning of the war, and his father died in 1636, when Georg
was 14, and he was apprenticed to a barber in Halle[f] When he
was 20, he married the widow of the official barber-surgeon of a
suburb of Halle, and inherited his practice. With this he began
the determined process of becoming self-made; by dint of his
Händel-Haus, birthplace of "conservative, steady, thrifty, unadventurous" lifestyle,[16] he
George Frideric Handel guided the five children he had with Anna who reached
adulthood into the medical profession (except his youngest
daughter who married a government official).[17] In 1682 Anna
died. Within a year he married again, this time to the daughter of a Lutheran minister, Pastor Georg
Taust of the Church of St. Bartholomew in Giebichtenstein,[18] who himself came from a long line
of Lutheran pastors.[16] Handel was the second child of this marriage, the first son died still
born.[19] Two younger sisters were born after the birth of George Frideric: Dorthea Sophia, born 6
October 1687 and Johanna Christiana, born 10 January 1690.[20]

Handel's early education

Early in his life Handel is reported to have attended the gymnasium in Halle,[21] where the
headmaster, Johann Praetorius, was reputed to be an ardent musician.[22] Whether Handel remained
there or for how long is unknown but many biographers suggest that he was withdrawn from school
by his father, based on the characterization of him by Handel's first biographer, John Mainwaring.
Mainwaring is the source for almost all information (little as it is) of Handel's childhood, and much

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of that information came from J.C. Smith, Jr., Handel's

confidant and copyist.[23] Whether they came from Smith or
elsewhere, Mainwaring frequently relates misinformation.[g] It
is from Mainwaring that the portrait of Handel's father as
implacably opposed to any musical education comes.
Mainwaring writes that Georg Händel was "alarmed" at
Handel's very early propensity for music,[h] "took every Halle. Copper engraving, 1686.
measure to oppose it," including forbidding any musical
instrument in the house and preventing Handel from going to
any house where they might be found.[25] This did nothing to dampen young Handel's inclination;
in fact, it did the reverse. Mainwaring tells the story of Handel's secret attic spinnet: Handel "found
means to get a little clavichord privately convey'd to a room at the top of the house. To this room he
constantly stole when the family was asleep".[26] Although both John Hawkins and Charles Burney
credited this tale, Schoelcher found it nearly "incredible" and a feat of "poetic imagination"[27] and
Lang considers it one of the unproven "romantic stories" that surrounded Handel's childhood.[28]
But Handel had to have had some experience with the keyboard to have made the impression in
Weissenfels that resulted in his receiving formal musical training.[29]

Musical education

Sometime between the ages of seven and nine, Handel accompanied his father to Weissenfels
where he came under the notice of one whom Handel thereafter always regarded throughout life as
his benefactor,[30] Duke Johann Adolf I.[i] Somehow Handel made his way to the court organ,
where he surprised everyone with his playing.[33] Overhearing this performance and noting the
youth of the performer caused the Duke (whose suggestions were not to be disregarded by a
burgher, especially an ambitious court appointee) to recommend to Georg Händel that Handel be
given musical instruction.[34] Handel's father engaged the organist at the Halle parish church, the
young Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, to instruct Handel. Zachow would be the only teacher that
Handel ever had.[28] Because of his church employment, Zachow was an organist "of the old
school," reveling in fugues, canons and counterpoint.[30] But he was also familiar with
developments in music across Europe and his own compositions "embraced the new concerted,
dramatic style."[j] When Zachow discovered the talent of Handel, he introduced him "to a vast
collection of German and Italian music, which he possessed, sacred and profane, vocal and
instrumental compositions of different schools, different styles, and of every master."[30] Many
traits considered "Handelian" can be traced back to Zachow's music. [36] At the same time Handel
continued practice on the harpsichord, learned violin and organ, but according to Burney his special
affection was for the hautbois (oboe).[37] Schoelcher speculates that his youthful devotion to the
instrument explains the large number of pieces he composed for oboe.[38]

With respect to instruction in composition, in addition to having Handel apply himself to traditional
fugue and cantus firmus work, Zachow, recognizing Handel's precocious talents, systematically
introduced Handel to the variety of styles and masterworks contained in his extensive library. He

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did this by requiring Handel to copy selected scores. "I used to

write like the devil in those days," Handel recalled much
later.[39] Much of this copying was entered into a notebook that
Handel maintained for the rest of his life. Although it has since
disappeared, the notebook has been sufficiently described to
understand what pieces Zachow wished Handel to study.
Among the chief composers represented in this exercise book
were Johann Krieger, an "old master" in the fugue and
prominent organ composer, Johann Caspar Kerll, a
representative of the "southern style" after his teacher
Frescobaldi and imitated later by Handel,[k] Johann Jakob
Marktkirche in Halle where Froberger, an "internationalist" also closely studied by
Zachow and Handel performed as Buxtehude and Bach, and Georg Muffat, whose amalgam of
organists French and Italian styles and his synthesis of musical forms
influenced Handel.[41]

Mainwaring writes that during this time Zachow had begun to have Handel assume some of his
church duties. Zachow, Mainwaring asserts, was "often" absent, "from his love of company, and a
chearful glass," and Handel therefore performed on organ frequently.[42] What is more, according
to Mainwaring, Handel began composing at the age of nine church services for voice and
instruments "and from that time actually did compose a service every week for three years
successively."[43] Mainwaring ends this chapter of Handel's life by concluding that three or four
years had been enough to allow Handel to surpass Zachow, and Handel had become "impatient for
another situation"; "Berlin was the place agreed upon."[44] Carelessness with dates or sequences
(and possibly imaginative interpretation by Mainwaring) makes this period confused.

After the death of Handel's father

Handel's father died on 11 February 1697.[45] It was German custom for friends and family to
compose funeral odes for a substantial burgher like Georg,[46] and young Handel discharged his
duty with a poem dated 18 February and signed with his name and (in deference to his father's
wishes) "dedicated to the liberal arts."[47] At the time Handel was studying either at Halle's
Lutheran Gymnasium or the Latin School.[46]

Mainwaring has Handel traveling to Berlin the next year, 1698.[48] The problem with Mainwaring
as an authority for this date, however, is that he tells of how Handel's father communicated with the
"king"[l] during Handel's stay, declining the Court's offer to send Handel to Italy on a stipend[50]
and that his father died "after his return from Berlin."[51] But since Georg Händel died in 1697,
either the date of the trip or Mainwaring's statements about Handel's father must be in error. Early
biographers solved the problem by making the year of the trip 1696, then noting that at the age of
11 Handel would need a guardian, have Handel's father or friend of the family accompany him, all
the while puzzling over why the elder Handel, who wanted Handel to become a lawyer, would

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spend the sum to lead his son further into the temptation of music as a career.[52] Schoelcher for
example has Handel traveling to Berlin at 11, meeting both Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti in Berlin
and then returning at the direction of his father.[53] But Ariosti was not in Berlin before the death of
Handel's father.[54] and Handel could not have met Bononcini in Berlin before 1702.[55] Modern
biographers either accept the year as 1698, since most reliable older authorities agree with it,[m] and
discount what Mainwaring says about what took place during the trip or assume that Mainwaring
conflated two or more visits to Berlin, as he did with Handel's later trips to Venice.[57]


Perhaps to fulfill a promise to his father or simply because he saw himself as "dedicated to the
liberal arts," on 10 February 1702 Handel matriculated at the University of Halle.[58] That
university had only recently been founded—in 1694 the Elector created the school, largely to
provide a lecture forum for the jurist Christian Thomasius who had been expelled from Leipzig for
his liberal views.[12] Handel did not enroll in the faculty of law, although Handel almost certainly
attended his lectures[59] Thomasius was an intellectual, academic and religious crusader who was
the first German academic to lecture in German. A firm Lutheran, he nevertheless strongly
advocated the separation of church and state, famously denouncing the witch trials then prevalent.
Lang believes that Thomasius instilled in Handel a "restpect for the dignity and freedom of man's
mind and the solemn majesty of the law," principles that would have drawn him to and kept him in
England for half a century.[60] Handel also there encountered theologian and professor of Oriental
languages August Hermann Francke, who was particularly solicitous of children, particularly
orphans. The orphanage he founded became a model for Germany, and undoubtedly influenced
Handel's own charitable impulse, when he assigned the rights of The Messiah to London's
Foundling Hospital.[61]

Shortly after commencing his university education, Handel

(though Lutheran[n]) on 13 March 1702 accepted the position of
organist at the Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, the Domkirche,
replacing J.C. Leporin, for whom he had acted as assistant.[63]
The position, which was a one year probationary appointment
showed the foundation he had received from Zachow, for a
church organist and cantor was a highly prestigious office.
From it he received 5 thalers a year and lodgings in the Domkirche in Halle
run-down castle of Moritzburg. [64]

Around this same time Handel made the acquaintance of Telemann. Four years Handel's senior
Telemann was studying law and assisting cantor Johann Kuhnau (Bach's predecessor at the
Thomaskirche there). Telemann recalled forty years later in an autobiography for Mattheson's
Grundlage: "The writing of the excellent Johann Kuhnau served as a model for me in fugue and
counterpoint; but in fashioning melodic movements and examining them Handel and I were
constantly occupied, frequently visiting each other as well as writing letters."[65]

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Handel's Halle compositions

Although Mainwaring records that Handel wrote weekly when assistant to Zachow and as
probationary organist at Domkirche part of his duty was to provide suitable music,[o] no sacred
compositions from his Halle period can now be identified.[67] Mattheson, however, summarized his
opinion of Handel's church cantatas written in Halle: "Handel in those days set very, very long arias
and sheerly unending cantatas which, while not possessing the proper knack or correct taste, were
perfect so far as harmony is concerned."[68]

Early chamber works do exist, but it is difficult to date any of them to Handel's time in Halle. Many
historians until recently followed Chrysander and designated the six trio sonatas for two oboes and
basso continuo as his first known composition, supposedly written in 1696 (when Handel was
11).[69] Lang doubts the dating based on a handwritten date of a copy (1700) and stylistic
considerations. Lang writes that the works "show thorough acquaintance with the distilled sonata
style of the Corelli school" and are notable for "the or, the formal security, and the cleanness of the
texture."[70] Hogwood considers all of the oboe trio sonatas spurious and even suggests that some
parts cannot be performed on oboe.[71] That authentic manuscript sources do not exist and that
Handel never recycled any material from these works make their authenticity doubtful.[72] Other
early chamber work were printed in Amsterdam in 1724 as opus 1, but it is impossible to tell which
are early works in their original form, rather than later re-workings by Handel, a frequent practice
of his.[70]

From Halle to Italy

Handel's probationary appointment to Domkirche expired in
March 1703. By July[p] Handel was in Hamburg. Since he left
no explanation for the move[q] biographers have offered their
own speculation. Burrows believes that the answer can be found
by untangling Mainwaring's confused chronology of the trip to
Berlin. Burrows dates this trip to 1702 or 1703 (after his father's
death) and concludes that since Handel (through a "friend and
relation" at the Berlin court) turned down Frederick's offer to
The Hamburg Opera am
subsidize his musical education in Italy (with the implicit
Gänsemarkt in 1726
understanding that he would become a court musician on his
return), Handel was no longer able to expect preferment
(whether as musician, lawyer or otherwise) within Brandenburg-Prussia. And since he was attracted
secular, dramatic music (by meeting the Italians Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti and through the
influence of Telemann), Hamburg, a free city with an established opera company, was the logical
choice.[76] The question remains, however, why Handel rejected the King's offer, given that Italy
was the center of opera. Lang suggests that, influenced by the teachings of Thomasius, Handel's
character was such that he was unable to becoming subservient to anyone, even a king. Lang sees
Handel as someone who could not accept class distinctions that required him to regard himself as a

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social inferior. "What Handel craved was personal freedom to raise himself out of his provincial
milieu to a life of culture."[77] Burrows notes that like his father, Handel was able to accept royal
(and aristocratic) favors but consider himself a court servant.[78] And so given the embarrassed
financial condition of his mother,[51] Handel set off for Hamburg to obtain experience while
supporting himself.

In 1703 he accepted a position as violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of the Hamburg Oper
am Gänsemarkt.[79] There he met the composers Johann Mattheson, Christoph Graupner and
Reinhard Keiser. His first two operas, Almira and Nero, were produced in 1705.[80] He produced
two other operas, Daphne and Florindo, in 1708. It is unclear whether Handel directed these

According to Mainwaring, in 1706 Handel travelled to Italy at the

invitation of Ferdinando de' Medici. Other sources say Handel was
invited by Gian Gastone de' Medici, whom Handel had met in
1703–1704 in Hamburg.[81] De' Medici, who had a keen interest in
opera, was trying to make Florence Italy's musical capital by attracting
the leading talents of his day. In Italy Handel met librettist Antonio
Salvi, with whom he later collaborated. Handel left for Rome and,
since opera was (temporarily) banned in the Papal States, composed
sacred music for the Roman clergy. His famous Dixit Dominus (1707)
is from this era. He also composed cantatas in pastoral style for
musical gatherings in the palaces of cardinals Pietro Ottoboni,
Benedetto Pamphili and Carlo Colonna. Two oratorios, La Entrance of Teatro del
resurrezione and Il trionfo del tempo, were produced in a private Cocomero in Florence
setting for Ruspoli and Ottoboni in 1709 and 1710, respectively.
Rodrigo, his first all-Italian opera, was produced in the Cocomero
theatre in Florence in 1707.[82] Agrippina was first produced in 1709 at Teatro San Giovanni
Grisostomo, owned by the Grimanis. The opera, with a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani, ran
for 27 nights successively.[83] The audience, thunderstruck with the grandeur and sublimity of his
style,[84] applauded for Il caro Sassone ("the dear Saxon" – referring to Handel's German origins).

Move to London
In 1710, Handel became Kapellmeister to German prince George, the Elector of Hanover, who in
1714 would become King George I of Great Britain and Ireland.[85] He visited Anna Maria Luisa
de' Medici and her husband in Düsseldorf on his way to London in 1710. With his opera Rinaldo,
based on La Gerusalemme Liberata by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso, Handel enjoyed great
success, although it was composed quickly, with many borrowings from his older Italian works.[86]
This work contains one of Handel's favourite arias, Cara sposa, amante cara, and the famous
Lascia ch'io pianga.

In 1712, Handel decided to settle permanently in England. In Summer 1713 he lived at Mr Mathew

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Andrews in Barn Elms Surrey.[87][88] He received a yearly

income of £200 from Queen Anne after composing for her the
Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate, first performed in 1713.[89][90]

One of his most important patrons was The 3rd Earl of

Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork, a young and incredibly
wealthy member of an Anglo-Irish aristocratic family.[91] For
the young Lord Burlington, Handel wrote Amadigi di Gaula, a
magical opera, about a damsel in distress, based on the tragedy
by Antoine Houdar de la Motte. George Frideric Handel (left) and
King George I on the River
The conception of an opera as a coherent structure was slow to Thames, 17 July 1717, by
capture Handel's imagination[92] and he composed no operas for Edouard Hamman (1819–88)
five years. In July 1717 Handel's Water Music was performed
more than three times on the Thames for the King and his
guests. It is said the compositions spurred reconciliation between the King and Handel. [93]

Cannons (1717–18)

In 1717 Handel became house composer at Cannons in Middlesex,

where he laid the cornerstone for his future choral compositions in the
twelve Chandos Anthems.[94] Rolland wrote that these anthems (or
Psalms) stood in relation to Handel's oratorios, much the same way
that the Italian cantatas stood to his operas: "splendid sketches of the
more monumental works."[95] Another work, which he wrote for The
1st Duke of Chandos, the owner of Cannons, was Acis and Galatea:
during Handel's lifetime it was his most performed work. Winton Dean
wrote, "the music catches breath and disturbs the memory".[96]

In 1719 the Duke of Chandos became one of the composer's important "The Chandos portrait of
patrons and main subscribers to his new opera company, the Royal Georg Friedrich Händel"
Academy of Music, but his patronage declined after Chandos lost by James Thornhill, c.
money in the South Sea bubble, which burst in 1720 in one of history's 1720
greatest financial cataclysms. Handel himself invested in South Sea
stock in 1716, when prices were low[97] and sold before 1720.[98]

Royal Academy of Music (1719–34)

In May 1719, The 1st Duke of Newcastle, the Lord Chamberlain, ordered Handel to look for new
singers.[99] Handel travelled to Dresden to attend the newly built opera. He saw Teofane by Antonio
Lotti, and engaged members of the cast for the Royal Academy of Music, founded by a group of
aristocrats to assure themselves a constant supply of baroque opera or opera seria. Handel may have
invited John Smith, his fellow student in Halle, and his son Johann Christoph Schmidt, to become

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his secretary and amanuensis.[100] By 1723 he had moved into a

Georgian house at 25 Brook Street, which he rented for the rest of his
life.[101] This house, where he rehearsed, copied music and sold
tickets, is now the Handel House Museum.[r] During twelve months
between 1724 and 1725, Handel wrote three outstanding and
successful operas, Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano and Rodelinda. Handel's
operas are filled with da capo arias, such as Svegliatevi nel core. After
composing Silete venti, he concentrated on opera and stopped writing
cantatas. Scipio, from which the regimental slow march of the British
Grenadier Guards is derived,[102] was performed as a stopgap, waiting
for the arrival of Faustina Bordoni.

In 1727 Handel was commissioned to write four anthems for the

Coronation ceremony of King George II. One of these, Zadok the Handel House at 25
Priest, has been played at every British coronation ceremony Brook Street, Mayfair,
since. [103] In 1728 John Gay's The Beggar's Opera premiered at London
Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre and ran for 62 consecutive performances,
the longest run in theatre history up to that time.[104] After nine years
the Royal Academy of Music ceased to function but Handel soon started a new company.

The Queen's Theatre at the Haymarket (now Her Majesty's Theatre), established in 1705 by
architect and playwright John Vanbrugh, quickly became an opera house.[105] Between 1711 and
1739, more than 25 of Handel's operas premièred there.[106] In 1729 Handel became joint manager
of the theatre with John James Heidegger.

Handel travelled to Italy to engage new singers and also

composed seven more operas, among them the comic
masterpiece Partenope and the "magic" opera Orlando.[107]
After two commercially successful English oratorios Esther and
Deborah, he was able to invest again in the South Sea
Company. Handel reworked his Acis and Galatea which then
became his most successful work ever. Handel failed to
compete with the Opera of the Nobility, who engaged musicians
such as Johann Adolph Hasse, Nicolo Porpora and the famous
A musical portrait of Frederick,
castrato Farinelli. The strong support by Frederick, Prince of
Prince of Wales, and his sisters
Wales caused conflicts in the royal family. In March 1734
Handel composed a wedding anthem This is the day which the by Philip Mercier, dated 1733,
Lord hath made, and a serenata Parnasso in Festa for Anne of using Kew Palace as its plein-air

Despite the problems the Opera of the Nobility was causing him at the time, Handel's neighbour in
Brook Street, Mary Delany, reported on a party she invited Handel to at her house on 12 April 1734
where he was in good spirits:

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I had Lady Rich and her daughter, Lady Cath.

Hanmer and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Percival, Sir
John Stanley and my brother, Mrs. Donellan, Strada
[star soprano of Handel's operas] and Mr. Coot. Lord
Shaftesbury begged of Mr. Percival to bring him, and
being a profess'd friend of Mr. Handel (who was here
also) was admitted; I never was so well entertained
at an opera! Mr. Handel was in the best humour in
the world, and played lessons and accompanied
Strada and all the ladies that sang from seven o'clock
The Queen's Theatre in the
till eleven. I gave them tea and coffee, and about half
Haymarket in London by William
an hour after nine had a salver brought in of
chocolate, mulled white wine and biscuits. Capon
Everybody was easy and seemed pleased.[109]

Opera at Covent Garden (1734–41)

In 1733 the Earl of Essex received a letter with the following sentence: "Handel became so
arbitrary a prince, that the Town murmurs". The board of chief investors expected Handel to retire
when his contract ended, but Handel immediately looked for another theatre. In cooperation with
John Rich he started his third company at Covent Garden Theatre. Rich was renowned for his
spectacular productions. He suggested Handel use his small chorus and introduce the dancing of
Marie Sallé, for whom Handel composed Terpsicore. In 1735 he introduced organ concertos
between the acts. For the first time Handel allowed Gioacchino Conti, who had no time to learn his
part, to substitute arias.[110] Financially, Ariodante was a failure, although he introduced ballet
suites at the end of each act.[111] Alcina, his last opera with a magic content, and Alexander's Feast
or the Power of Music based on John Dryden's Alexander's Feast starred Anna Maria Strada del Pò
and John Beard.

In April 1737, at age 52, Handel apparently suffered a stroke which disabled the use of four fingers
on his right hand, preventing him from performing.[112] In summer the disorder seemed at times to
affect his understanding. Nobody expected that Handel would ever be able to perform again. But
whether the affliction was rheumatism, a stroke or a nervous breakdown, he recovered remarkably
quickly .[113] To aid his recovery, Handel had travelled to Aachen, a spa in Germany. During six
weeks he took long hot baths, and ended up playing the organ for a surprised audience.[114] It was
even possible for him to write one of his most popular operas, Serse (including the famous aria
Ombra mai fù, better known as "Handel's largo", he wrote for the famous castrato Caffarelli), just
one year after his stroke.[115][116]

Deidamia, his last opera, a co-production with the Earl of Holderness,[117] was performed three
times in 1741. Handel gave up the opera business, while he enjoyed more success with his English

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Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, an allegory, Handel's first

oratorio[119] was composed in Italy in 1707, followed by La
resurrezione in 1708 which uses material from the Bible. The
circumstances of Esther and its first performance, possibly in 1718, are
obscure.[120] Another 12 years had passed when an act of piracy
caused him to take up Esther once again.[121] Three earlier
performances aroused such interest that they naturally prompted the
idea of introducing it to a larger public. Next came Deborah, strongly
coloured by the Coronation Anthems[122] and Athaliah, his first
English Oratorio.[123] In these three oratorios Handel laid the
Handel by Philip Mercier
foundation for the traditional use of the chorus which marks his later
oratorios.[124] Handel became sure of himself, broader in his
presentation, and more diverse in his composition.[125]

It is evident how much he learned from Arcangelo Corelli about writing for instruments, and from
Alessandro Scarlatti about writing for the solo voice; but there is no single composer who taught
him how to write for chorus.[126] Handel tended more and more to replace Italian soloists by
English ones. The most significant reason for this change was the dwindling financial returns from
his operas.[127] Thus a tradition was created for oratorios which was to govern their future
performance. The performances were given without costumes and action; the singers appeared in
their own clothes.[128]

In 1736 Handel produced Alexander's Feast. John Beard

appeared for the first time as one of Handel's principal singers
and became Handel's permanent tenor soloist for the rest of
Handel's life.[129] The piece was a great success and it
encouraged Handel to make the transition from writing Italian
operas to English choral works. In Saul, Handel was
collaborating with Charles Jennens and experimenting with
three trombones, a carillon and extra-large military kettledrums
(from the Tower of London), to be sure "...it will be most
excessive noisy".[130] Saul and Israel in Egypt both from 1739
head the list of great, mature oratorios, in which the da capo aria
became the exception and not the rule.[131] Israel in Egypt
consists of little else but choruses, borrowing from the Funeral
Anthem for Queen Caroline. In his next works Handel changed
his course. In these works he laid greater stress on the effects of Caricature of Handel by Joseph
orchestra and soloists; the chorus retired into the Goupy (1754)
background.[132] L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato has a
rather diverting character; the work is light and fresh.

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During the summer of 1741, The 3rd Duke of

Hallelujah Chorus, from Messiah
Devonshire invited Handel to Dublin, capital of the (1741)
Kingdom of Ireland, to give concerts for the benefit 0:00 MENU
of local hospitals.[133] His Messiah was first
performed at the New Music Hall in Fishamble
Problems playing this file? See media help.
Street on 13 April 1742, with 26 boys and five men
from the combined choirs of St Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals participating.[134] Handel
secured a balance between soloists and chorus which he never surpassed.

In 1747 Handel wrote his oratorio Alexander Balus. This work was produced at Covent Garden
Theatre, on March 23, 1748, and to the aria Hark! hark! He strikes the golden lyre, Handel wrote
the accompaniment for mandolin, harp, violin, viola, and violoncello.[135]

The use of English soloists reached its height at the

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,
first performance of Samson. The work is highly from Solomon (1748)
theatrical. The role of the chorus became 0:00 MENU
increasingly important in his later oratorios. Jephtha
was first performed on 26 February 1752; even
Problems playing this file? See media help.
though it was his last oratorio, it was no less a
masterpiece than his earlier works.[136]

Later years
In 1749 Handel composed Music for the Royal Fireworks; 12,000
people attended the first performance.[137] In 1750 he arranged a
performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital. The
performance was considered a great success and was followed by
annual concerts that continued throughout his life. In recognition of his
patronage, Handel was made a governor of the Hospital the day after
his initial concert. He bequeathed a copy of Messiah to the institution
upon his death.[138] His involvement with the Foundling Hospital is
today commemorated with a permanent exhibition in London's
Foundling Museum, which also holds the Gerald Coke Handel
Collection. In addition to the Foundling Hospital, Handel also gave to
George Frideric Handel
a charity that assisted impoverished musicians and their families.
in 1733, by Balthasar
Denner (1685–1749) In August 1750, on a journey back from Germany to London, Handel
was seriously injured in a carriage accident between The Hague and
Haarlem in the Netherlands. [139] In 1751 one eye started to fail. The cause was a cataract which
was operated on by the great charlatan Chevalier Taylor. This did not improve his eyesight, but
possibly made it worse.[118] He was completely blind by 1752. He died in 1759 at home in Brook
Street, at age 74. The last performance he attended was of Messiah. Handel was buried in
Westminster Abbey.[140] More than three thousand mourners attended his funeral, which was given

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full state honours.

Handel never married, and kept his personal life private. His initial will bequeathed the bulk of his
estate to his niece Johanna, however four codicils distributed much of his estate to other relations,
servants, friends and charities.[141]

Handel owned an art collection that was auctioned posthumously in 1760.[142] The auction
catalogue listed approximately seventy paintings and ten prints (other paintings were

Handel's compositions include 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120
cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, a large
number of ecumenical pieces, odes and serenatas, and 16 organ
concerti. His most famous work, the oratorio Messiah with its
"Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music
and has become the centrepiece of the Christmas season. The
Lobkowicz Palace in Prague holds Mozart's copy of Messiah, complete
with handwritten annotations. Among the works with opus numbers
published and popularised in his lifetime are the Organ Concertos Op.
4 and Op. 7, together with the Opus 3 and Opus 6 concerti grossi; the
latter incorporate an earlier organ concerto The Cuckoo and the
Nightingale in which birdsong is imitated in the upper registers of the
organ. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Senesino, the famous
Harmonious Blacksmith. castrato from Siena

Handel introduced previously uncommon musical instruments in his

works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three
trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornetts (Tamerlano), theorbo, French horn (Water
Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, carillon (bell chimes), positive organ, and harp
(Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).[143]


The first published catalogue of Handel's works appeared as an appendix to Mainwaring's

Memoirs.[144] Between 1787 and 1797 Samuel Arnold compiled a 180-volume collection of
Handel's works—however it was far from complete.[145] Also incomplete was the collection
produced between 1843 and 1858 by the English Handel Society (founded by Sir George

The 105-volume Händel-Gesellschaft ("Handel Society") edition was published between 1858 and
1902 – mainly due to the efforts of Friedrich Chrysander. For modern performance, the realisation

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of the basso continuo reflects 19th century practice. Vocal scores drawn from the edition were
published by Novello in London, but some scores, such as the vocal score to Samson are

The continuing Hallische Händel-Ausgabe edition was first inaugurated in 1955 in the Halle region
in Saxony-Anhalt, Eastern Germany. It did not start as a critical edition, but after heavy criticism of
the first volumes, which were performing editions without a critical apparatus (for example, the
opera Serse was published with the title character recast as a tenor reflecting pre-war German
practice), it repositioned itself as a critical edition. Influenced in part by cold-war realities, editorial
work was inconsistent: misprints are found in abundance and editors failed to consult important
sources. In 1985 a committee was formed to establish better standards for the edition. The
unification of Germany in 1990 removed communication problems, and the volumes issued have
since shown a significant improvement in standards.[118]

Between 1978 and 1986 the German academic Bernd Baselt catalogued Handel's works in his
Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis publication. The catalogue has achieved wide acceptance and is used as
the modern numbering system, with each of Handel's works designated an "HWV" number, for
example Messiah is catalogued as "HWV 56".

Handel's works were collected and preserved by two men: Sir
Samuel Hellier, a country squire whose musical acquisitions
form the nucleus of the Shaw-Hellier Collection,[147] and the
abolitionist Granville Sharp.[148] The catalogue accompanying
the National Portrait Gallery exhibition marking the
tercentenary of the composer's birth calls them two men of the
late eighteenth century "who have left us solid evidence of the
means by which they indulged their enthusiasm".[149]
A Masquerade at the King's
After his death, Handel's Italian operas fell into obscurity, Theatre, Haymarket (c. 1724)
except for selections such as the aria from Serse, "Ombra mai
fù". The oratorios continued to be performed but not long after
Handel's death they were thought to need some modernisation, and Mozart orchestrated a German
version of Messiah and other works. Throughout the 19th century and first half of the 20th century,
particularly in the Anglophone countries, his reputation rested primarily on his English oratorios,
which were customarily performed by enormous choruses of amateur singers on solemn occasions.
The centenary of his death, in 1859, was celebrated by a performance of Messiah at The Crystal
Palace, involving 2,765 singers and 460 instrumentalists, who played for an audience of about
10,000 people.

Recent decades have revived his secular cantatas and what one might call 'secular oratorios' or
'concert operas'. Of the former, Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (1739) (set to texts by John Dryden) and
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (1713) are noteworthy. For his secular oratorios, Handel

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turned to classical mythology for subjects, producing such works as Acis and Galatea (1719),
Hercules (1745) and Semele (1744). These works have a close kinship with the sacred oratorios,
particularly in the vocal writing for the English-language texts. They also share the lyrical and
dramatic qualities of Handel's Italian operas. As such, they are sometimes performed onstage by
small chamber ensembles. With the rediscovery of his theatrical works, Handel, in addition to his
renown as instrumentalist, orchestral writer, and melodist, is now perceived as being one of opera's
great musical dramatists.

The original form of his name, Georg Friedrich Händel, is generally

used in Germany and elsewhere, but he is known as "Haendel" in
France. A different composer, Jacob Handl or Händl (1550–1591) is
usually known by the Latin form Jacobus Gallus that appears in his


Handel has generally been accorded high esteem by fellow composers,

both in his own time and since.[150] Bach attempted, unsuccessfully, to
meet Handel while he was visiting Halle.[151] Mozart is reputed to A carved marble statue of
have said of him, "Handel understands affect better than any of us. Handel, created in 1738
When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt." [152] To Beethoven he by Louis-François
was "the master of us all... the greatest composer that ever lived. I Roubiliac
would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb."[152] Beethoven
emphasised above all the simplicity and popular appeal of Handel's music when he said, "Go to him
to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means."


Since 1831, when William Crotch raised the issue in his Substance of Several Lectures on Music,
scholars have extensively studied Handel's "borrowing" of music from other composers.
Summarising the field in 2005, Richard Taruskin wrote that Handel "seems to have been the
champion of all parodists, adapting both his own works and those of other composers in
unparalleled numbers and with unparalleled exactitude."[153] Among the composers whose music
has been shown to have been re-used by Handel are Alessandro Stradella, Gottlieb Muffat,
Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti[154] Giacomo Carissimi, Georg Philipp Telemann, Carl
Heinrich Graun, Leonardo Vinci, Jacobus Gallus, Francesco Antonio Urio, Reinhard Keiser,
Francesco Gasparini, Giovanni Bononcini, William Boyce, Agostino Steffani, Francesco Gasparini,
Franz Johann Habermann, and numerous others.[155]

In an essay published in 1985, John H. Roberts demonstrated that Handel's borrowings were
unusually frequent even for his own era, enough to have been criticised by contemporaries (notably
Johann Mattheson); Roberts suggested several reasons for Handel's practice, including Handel's
attempts to make certain works sound more up-to-date and more radically, his "basic lack of facility

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in inventing original ideas" – though Roberts took care to argue that this does not "diminish
Handel's stature", which should be "judged not by his methods, still less by his motives in
employing them, but solely by the effects he achieves."[156]


After Handel's death, many composers wrote works based on or

inspired by his music. The first movement from Louis Spohr's
Symphony No. 6, Op. 116, "The Age of Bach and Handel", resembles
two melodies from Handel's Messiah. In 1797 Ludwig van Beethoven
published the 12 Variations in G major on ‘See the conqu’ring hero
comes’ from Judas Maccabaeus by Handel, for cello and piano. In
1822 Beethoven composed The Consecration of the House overture,
which also bears the influence of Handel. Guitar virtuoso Mauro
Giuliani composed his Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 107 for
guitar, based on Handel's Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430, for
harpsichord. In 1861, using a theme from the second of Handel's
harpsichord suites, Johannes Brahms wrote the Variations and Fugue
on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, one of his most successful works
Handel Commemoration
(praised by Richard Wagner). Several works by the French composer
in Westminster Abbey,
Félix-Alexandre Guilmant use Handel's themes, for example his March
on a Theme by Handel uses a theme from Messiah. French composer
and flautist Philippe Gaubert wrote his Petite marche for flute and
piano based on the fourth movement of Handel's Trio Sonata, Op. 5, No. 2, HWV 397. Argentine
composer Luis Gianneo composed his Variations on a Theme by Handel for piano. In 1911,
Australian-born composer and pianist Percy Grainger based one of his most famous works on the
final movement of Handel's Suite No. 5 in E major (just like Giuliani). He first wrote some
variations on the theme, which he titled Variations on Handel's 'The Harmonious Blacksmith' .
Then he used the first sixteen bars of his set of variations to create Handel in the Strand, one of his
most beloved pieces, of which he made several versions (for example, the piano solo version from
1930). Arnold Schoenberg's Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra in B-flat major (1933) was
composed after Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op. 6/7.


Handel is honoured with a feast day on 28 July in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church,
with Johann Sebastian Bach and Henry Purcell. In the Lutheran Calendar of Saints Handel and J.S.
Bach share that date with Heinrich Schütz, and Handel and Bach are commemorated in the calendar
of saints prepared by the Order of Saint Luke for the use of the United Methodist Church.[157]

Fictional depictions

In 1942, Handel was the subject of the British biopic The Great Mr. Handel directed by Norman

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Walker and starring Wilfrid Lawson. It was made at Denham Studios by the Rank Organisation,
and shot in technicolour. He is also the central character in the television films God Rot Tunbridge
Wells! (1985) and Handel's Last Chance (1996) and the stage play All the Angels (2015).

See also
Handel Reference Database
Letters and writings of George Frideric Handel
List of compositions by George Frideric Handel
List of operas by Handel
Publications by Friedrich Chrysander
Valentine Snow
Will of George Frideric Handel
Drexel 5856

Notes, references and sources

a. "Handel" (http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/handel) entry in Collins English
Dictionary, HarperCollins Publishers, 1998, gives the common variant "George Frederick" (used in his
will and on his funeral monument) alongside the pronunciation of his last name. The spelling "Frideric"
is used on his 1727 application for British citizenship.
b. According to baptismal records in Halle's parish church, the Lutheran Church of Notre Dame St. Laurent
(Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen). The records of that church also show that the family name was
spelled on various occasions at least four other ways: Hendel, Händeler, Hendeler and Hendtler, but
most commonly Händel. In Italy he spelled it Hendel, as it is pronounced in German. From the time he
arrived in England, however, he consistently signed his name as George Frideric Handel.[1]
c. Handel's tomb in Westminster has the incorrect birth date of 24 February 1684.[3]
d. Among the court musicians of Halle were Samuel Scheidt (who also was organist at the Moritzkirche),
William Brade and Michael Praetorius.[11]
e. Halle also was noted for the quality of its organ-builders. In 1712 Bach was intrigued by the organ at
Marktkirche, and applied for the position that Zachow, Handel's teacher, vacated. He decided on
Weimar, however.[12]
f. This barber, Andreas Berger, happened to be the son-in-law of English émigré William Brade, court
musician to Augustus in Weissenfels.[15]
g. Both Landon and Hogwood point out and to the extent possible correct the more obvious misstatements
of facts and dates and inconsistencies of Mainwaring. See Landon 1984, pp. 9–19; Hogwood 1984,
pp. 11–17.
h. Schoelcher suggests that Handel's "doctor" father observed Handel making musical sounds even before
he could talk and this in the eyes of the son of a coppersmith "discovered instincts of so low an order

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i. The year and purpose of the visit and why the meeting occurred is variously given. Schoelcher and Bone
have it that Handel was seven and they were visiting a son by Georg's first marriage, who was in service
to he Duke.[31] Friedrich Chrysander states that they were visiting the younger Handel's nephew, Carl
(ten years his senior) who was the Duke's valet.[32] Lang writes that Handel was nine and Handel's
father, holding a court position, must have frequently travelled to Weissenfels, where the Duke had
established a residence after Prussia had annexed the city of Halle. Young Handel was taken along
because he could be cared for by relatives of his late wife.[28]
j. His cantatas, often highly dramatic, are distinguished by very imaginative choral writing, colorful
orchestration, and skilful handling of the concerted element."[35]
k. Handel not only applied Kerll's techniques and phrases in later compositions, he imported an entire
movement composed by Kerll into Israel in Egypt.[40]
l. There was no "king" in Berlin until 18 January 1701 when Frederick III, the Elector of Brandenburg,
became Frederick I, the first King in Prussia.[49]
m. Among the careful authorities who accepted the trip taking place in 1698 were Handel's friend Johann
Mattheson[56] and Burney.[38]
n. Records of the Marktkirche show that he took communion there in April of the years 1701–3.[62]
o. Handel was required by the terms of his appointment, among other things, "to play the organ fittingly at
Divine Service, and for this purpose to pre-intone the prescribed Psalms and Spritual Songs, and to have
due care to whatever might be needful to the support of beautiful harmony …"[66]
p. The first mention of Handel from the time he took his last communion at the Marktkirche on 23
April[66] is in Mattheson's annotated translation of Mainwaring (published in 1761) where he writes that
he met Handel in the Organ loft of the Church of St. Mary Magdalena in Hamburg.[73] In his earlier
Grunlage (publsihed in 1740), he fixes the date as 9 July.[74]
q. Mainwaring gives the cryptic explanation that since he had to earn a living from his profession, he had
to find a place less distant than Berlin. Given that Hamburg's opera house was second only to Berlin's in
repute, "it was resolved to send him thither on his own bottom, and chiefly with a view to
improvement."[75] The passage suggests that Handel had already determined on secular dramatic music
as a career, but who it was "to send him thither" is not explained.
r. In 2000, the upper stories of 25 Brook Street were leased to the Handel House Trust, and after extensive
restoration, the Handel House Museum opened to the public with an events programme of baroque

1. Schoelcher 1857, pp. 1–2.
2. Hicks 1998, p. 614.
3. Schoelcher 1857, p. 2.
4. "British Citizen by Act of Parliament: George Frideric Handel". Parliament.uk. 14 April 2009. Retrieved
13 April 2012.
5. Dean 1969, p. 19.
6. Buelow 2004, p. 476.
7. Deutsch 1955, p. 1
8. Adams & Hofestädt 2005, pp. 144–6.
9. Adams & Hofestädt 2005, p. 144.
10. Adams & Hofestädt 2005, p. 144; Burrows 1994, p. 1.
11. Burrows 1994, p. 1.

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12. Lang 1966, p. 20.

13. Burrows 1994, pp. 1-2.
14. Lang 1966, pp. 25–26.
15. Adams & Hofestädt 205, p. 144.
16. Lang 1966, p. 10.
17. Adams & Hofestädt 205, pp. 144–45.
18. Landon 1984, p. 9.
19. Deutsch 1955, p. 6.
20. Deutsch 1955, p. 2; Landon 1984, p. 9.
21. Dreyhaupt 1755, p. 625.
22. Maitland & Squire 1890, p. 277.
23. Landon 1984, p. 10; Schoelcher 1857, p. 7 n.1.
24. Schoelcher 1857, p. 3.
25. Mainwaring 1760, pp. 4–5.
26. Mainwaring 1760, p. 5.
27. Schoelcher, p. 4.
28. Lang 1966, p. 11.
29. Dent 2004, pp. 3–4.
30. Schoelcher 1857, p. 5.
31. Schoelcher 1857, p. 4; Bone 1914, p. 141.
32. Chrysander 1858: Buch 1: 2. Kindheit.
33. Schoelcher 1857, pp. 4–5; Bone 1914, p. 141; Lang 1966, p. 11.
34. Lang 1966, p. 11; Bone, p. 141; Schoelcher 1857, p. 5.
35. Lang 1966, pp. 11–12.
36. Lang 1966, p. 12; Landon 1984, p. 15. See also Seiffert, Max (1905). "Preface to Volumes 21, 21
(Zachow)". Denkmäler deutscher Tonkunst. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härte.
37. Schoelcher 1857, pp. 5–6. See also Bone 1914, pp. 141–42.
38. Schoelcher 1857, p. 6.
39. Lang 1966, p. 12.
40. Lang 1966, p. 14.
41. Lang 1966, pp. 13–16.
42. Mainwaring 1760, p. 15.
43. Mainwaring 1760, p. 16.
44. Mainwaring 1790, p. 18.
45. Schoelcher 1857, p. 6; Deutsch 1955, pp. 5–6 (inscription on Georg Händel's tombstone).
46. Lang 1966, p. 19.
47. Deutch 1955, pp. 6–8 (containing the poem and English translation).
48. Miainwaring 1760, p. 18.
49. Landon 1984, p. 30 n.5.
50. Mainwaring 1760, pp. 24–25.
51. Mainwaring 1760, p. 29.
52. Lang & 1966 p166.
53. Schoelcher 1857, pp. 6–7.
54. Landon 1984, p. 31 n.8.
55. Landon 1984, p. 31 n.7.
56. Lang 1966, p. 166.
57. Landon, pp. 31 n.7 & 53.
58. Dean 1982, p. 2; Deutsch, p. 8.

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59. Lang 1966, p. 20; Dent 1982, p. 2.

60. Lang 1966, pp. 20–21.
61. Lang 1966, p. 21.
62. Burrows 1994, p. 10; Deutsch 1955, pp. 8, 9, 10.
63. Dent 1982, p. 2.
64. Burrows 1994, p. 20.
65. Burrows 1994, pp. 10–11 translating Mattheson 1740, p. 359.
66. Deutsch 1955, p. 9.
67. Lang 1966, p. 22 n.2.
68. Lang 1966, p. 22 translating Mattheson 1740, p. 93.
69. Deutsch 1955, p. 4 n.1.
70. Lang 1966, p. 23.
71. Hogwood 1988, p. 21.
72. Best 1985, pp. 486–89.
73. Deutsch 1955, p. 10.
74. Mattheson 1740, pp. 29, 191.
75. Mainwaring 1760, pp. 27–28.
76. Burrows 1994, pp. 11–13.
77. Lang 1966, p. 26.
78. Burrows 1994, p. 12.
79. Burrows 1994, p. 18
80. Burrows 1994, p. 19
81. Handel as Orpheus: voice and desire in the chamber cantatas by Ellen T. Harris, books.google.com
82. Burrows 1994, pp. 29–30
83. Mainwaring 1760, p. 52.
84. Dean & Knapp 1987, p. 129
85. Burrows 1994, p. 38
86. Dean & Knapp 1987, pp. 173, 180
87. Wikisource (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Handel,_George_Frederick_%28DNB00%29)
88. George Frideric Handel: Volume 1, 1609–1725: Collected Documents edited by Donald Burrows, Helen
Coffey, John Greenacombe, Anthony Hicks (https://books.google.com/books?id=D-ycAwAAQBAJ&
89. National Portrait Gallery, p. 88
90. There is a tantalising suggestion by Handel's biographer, Jonathan Keates, that he may have come to
London in 1710 and settled in 1712 as a spy for the eventual Hanoverian successor to Queen Anne.
news.bbc.co.uk (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7992395.stm)
91. National Portrait Gallery, p. 92
92. Dean & Knapp 1987, p. 286
93. Burrows 1994, p. 77.
94. Bukofzer 1947, pp. 333–35.
95. Rolland 1916, p. 71.
96. Dean & Knapp 1987, p. 209
97. Deutsch 1955, pp. 70–71

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98. "Handel's Finances" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jkt2z), on bbc.co.uk

99. Deutsch 1955, p. 89
100. Dean 2006, p. 226 According to Dean they could not have reached London before 1716. In 1743, Smith
wrote in a letter that he had been in Handel's service for 24 years.
101. Burrows 1994, p. 387
102. Deutsch 1955, p. 194
103. Imogen Levy (2 June 1953). "Guide to the Coronation Service". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 28 May
104. " "Longest running Plays in London and New York", Stage Beauty".
105. theatrical monopoly in Banham, Martin The Cambridge guide to theatre pp. 1105 (Cambridge
University Press, 1995) ISBN 0-521-43437-8
106. Handel's Compositions (http://gfhandel.org/composition.htm) GFHandel.org, Retrieved 21 December
107. Dent, Edward J., Handel, Hardpress Publishing, (2010) (http://www.amazon.com/Handel-Edward-
J-Dent/dp/1407651412) ISBN 978-1407651415
108. Dent 2004, p. 33
109. "Synopsis of Arianna in Creta". Handelhouse.org. Handel House Museum. Archived from the original
on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
110. Dean 2006, pp. 274–84
111. Dean 2006, p. 288
112. Burrows 1994, p. 395.
113. Dean 2006, p. 283
114. For new insights on this episode, see Ilias Chrissochoidis: "Handel Recovering: Fresh Light on his
Affairs in 1737", Eighteenth-Century Music 5/2 (2008): 237–44.
115. Deutsche Oper am Rhein: "Xerxes", a book issued in 2015, containing information concerning the
original opera, as well as a contemporary production
116. Wikipedia page Serse
117. A New Chronology of Venetian Opera and Related Genres, 1660–1760 by Eleanor Selfridge-Field, p.
118. Hicks 2013.
119. Marx 1998, p. 243.
120. National Portrait Gallery, p. 157
121. Larsen 1972, p. 15 Handels Messiah. A distinguished authority on Handel discusses the origins,
composition, and sources of one of the great choral works of western civilization.
122. Larsen 1972, p. 26
123. Marx 1998, p. 48.
124. Larsen 1972, p. 66
125. Larsen 1972, p. 49
126. Larsen 1972, p. 40
127. Larsen 1972, p. 33
128. Burrows 1994, p. 217.
129. Larsen 1972, p. 37
130. National Portrait Gallery, p. 165
131. Larsen 1972, pp. 16, 39–41
132. Larsen 1972, p. 78
133. Dent 2004, pp. 40–41
134. Young 1966, p. 48
135. Bone 1914, pp. 142_44.

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136. Burrows 1994, pp. 354–55

137. Burrows 1994, pp. 297–98
138. Young 1966, p. 56
139. Dent 2004, p. 63
140. Young 1966, p. 60
141. The Letters and Writings of George Frideric Handel by Erich H. Müller, 1935
142. "Handel as art collector – Thomas McGeary". Em.oxfordjournals.org. 1 February 2012. Retrieved
13 April 2012.
143. Textbook in CD Sacred Arias with Harp & Harp Duets by Rachel Ann Morgan & Edward Witsenburg.
144. Mainwaring 1760, pp. 145–55.
145. Dean 1982, p. 116.
146. The Halle Handel Edition. "A short history of editing Handel". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
147. Best, Terence, ed. Handel collections and their history, a collection of conference papers given by the
international panel of distinguished Handel scholars. Clarendon Press, 1993
148. Prince Hoare, ed. (1820). Memoirs of Granville Sharp. Colburn. p. XII. "...he had a voluminous
collection of Handel's scores..."
149. Jacob Simon (1985). Handel, a celebration of his life and times, 1685–1759. p. 239. National Portrait
Gallery (Great Britain)
150. "BBC Press Release". Bbc.co.uk. 13 January 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
151. Dent 2004, p. 23
152. Young, Percy Marshall (1 April 1975) [1947]. Handel (Master Musician series). J.M.Dent & Sons.
p. 254. ISBN 0-460-03161-9.
153. Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music, Oxford University Press, 2005, vol. 2, chapter
26, p. 329, ISBN 0195222717
154. Alexander Silbiger, "Scarlatti Borrowings in Handel's Grand Concertos", The Musical Times, v. 125,
1984, pp. 93–94
155. A comprehensive bibliography through 2005 can be found in Mary Anne Parker, G. F. Handel: A Guide
to Research, Routledge, 2005, ISBN 1136783598, pp. 114–135
156. John H. Roberts, "Why Did Handel Borrow?", in Handel: Tercentary Collection, edited by Stanley
Sadie and Anthony Hicks, Royal Musical Association, 1985, pp. 83–92, ISBN 0-8357-1833-6
157. For All the Saints: A Calendar of Commemorations for United Methodists, ed. by Clifton F. Guthrie
(Order of Saint Luke Publications, 1995, ISBN 1-878009-25-7) p. 161.


Adams, Aileen K.; Hofestädt, B. (August 2005). "Georg Händel (1622-97): The Barber-
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142–49. PMID 16059526.
Best, Terence (November 1985). "Handel's Chamber Music: Sources, Chronologyand
Authenticity". Early Music. 13 (4): 476–99. Retrieved 16 February 2017 – via JSTOR.
(subscription required (help)).
Bone, Philip J. (1914). The Guitar and Mandolin: Biographies of Celebrated Players and
Composers for these Instruments. London: Schott & Co.
Buelow, George J. (2004). A History of Baroque Music. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana
University Press. ISBN 0253343658.
Bukofzer, Manfred F. (1947). 'Music in the Baroque Era – From Monteverdi To Bach. New

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Burrows, Donald (1994). Handel. Oxford University Press. ISBN 019816470X.
Burrows, Donald (1997). The Cambridge Companion to Handel. Cambridge Companions to
Music. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45613-4.
Chrissochoidis, Ilias. "Early Reception of Handel's Oratorios, 1732–1784: Narrative – Studies
– Documents" (PhD dissertation, Stanford University, 2004), available through UMI
Chrissochoidis, Ilias (Spring 2009). " 'True Merit Always Envy Rais'd': The 'Advice to Mr.
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69–86. Retrieved 15 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Chrissochoidis, Ilias (November 2009). "Handel at a Crossroads: His 1737–1738 and
1738–1739 Seasons Re-Examined". Music & Letters. 90 (4): 599–635. Retrieved 15 January
2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Chrissochoidis, Ilias (November 2009). "Handel, Hogarth, Goupy: Artistic intersections in
Handelian biography". Early Music. 37 (4): 577–96. Retrieved 15 January 2017 – via JSTOR.
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Chrissochoidis, Ilias. "'hee-haw ... llelujah': Handel among the Vauxhall Asses (1732)
iid=7849452)", Eighteenth-Century Music 7/2 (September 2010), 221–262.
Chrissochoidis, Ilias (2011). "Reforming Handel: John Brown and "The Cure of Saul"
(1763)". Journal of the Royal Musical Association. 136 (2): 207–245. Retrieved 15 January
2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Chrysander, Friedrich (1858). G.F. Händel. 1. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. Consisting of
three volumes (separately hosted online by zeno.org): Buch 1 (http://www.zeno.org/Musik
/1.+Buch+Jugendzeit+und+Lehrjahre+in+Deutschland): Jugendzeit und Lehrjahre in
Deutschland (1685–1706); Buch 2 (http://www.zeno.org/Musik/M/Chrysander,+Friedrich
/G.F.+H%C3%A4ndel/1.+Band/2.+Buch.+Die+gro%C3%9Fe+Wanderung): Die große
Wanderung (1707–1720).
Chrysander, Friedrich (1860). G.F. Händel. 2. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. Buch 3: Zwanzig
Jahre bei der italienischen Oper in London.
Chrysander, Friedrich (1867). G.F. Händel. 3. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. Buch 4:Uebergang
zum Oratorium.
Dean, Winton (1969). Handel and the Opera Seria. Berkeley, California: University of
California Press. ISBN 978-0520014381.
Dean, Winton (1982). The New Grove Handel. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
ISBN 0393300862.
Dean, Winton; Knapp, John Merrill (1987). Handel's Operas, 1704–1726. 1. Oxford:
Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-816441-6.
Dean, Winton (2006). Handel's Operas, 1726–1741. The Boydell Press.
Dent, Edward Joseph (2004). Handel. R A Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1-4191-2275-4.
Deutsch, Otto Erich (1955). Handel: A Documentary Biography. London: Adam and Charles

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Dreyhaupt, Johann Christoph von (1755). Pagus neletici et nudzici oder ausführliche
diplomatisch-historische Beschreibun des … Saal-Creises. 2. Halle: Verlag des
Frosch, William A. (14 September 1989). "The Case of George Frideric Handel". New
England Journal of Medicine. 321: 765–69. doi:10.1056/NEJM198909143211120.
Frosch, William A. (1990). "Moods, Madness, and Music. II. Was Handel Insane?". The
Musical Quarterly. 74 (1): 31–56. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription
required (help)).
Harris, Ellen T. (Autumn 1980). "The Italian in Handel". Journal of the American
Musicological Society. 33 (3): 468–500. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription
required (help)).
Harris, Ellen T., ed. (1989). The Librettos of Handel's Operas: A Collection of Seventy
Librettos Documenting Handel's Operatic Career. New York: Garland. ISBN 0824038622.
Harris, Ellen T. (Summer 1990). "Integrity and Improvisation in the Music of Handel". The
Journal of Musicology. 8 (3): 301–15. doi:10.2307/763784. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via
JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Harris, Ellen T. (2001). Handel as Orpheus. Voice and Desire in the Chamber Cantatas.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674006178.
Harris, Ellen T. (November 2004). "Handel the Investor". Music & Letters. 85 (4): 521–75.
Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Harris, Ellen T. (August 2010). "Courting Gentility: Handel at the Bank of England". Music &
Letters. 91 (3): 357–75. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Hicks, Anthony (1976–1977). "Handel's Early Musical Development". Proceedings of the
Royal Musical Association. 103: 80–89. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription
required (help)).
Hicks, Anthony (2013), "Handel, George Frideric", Grove Music Online, Oxford University
Press, (subscription required (help))
Hicks, Anthony (1998). "Handel, George Frederick". In Sadie, Stanley. The New Grove
Dictionary of Opera. 2. London: MacMillan Publishers, Inc. pp. 614–26.
ISBN 1-56159-228-5.
Hogg, Katharine (July–September 2008). "Handel and the Fundling Hospital: The Gerald
Coke Handel Collection at the Foundling Museum". Fontes Artis Musicae. 55 (3): 435–47.
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Hogwood, Christopher (1984). Handel. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500013551.
Hume, Robert D. (October 1986). "Handel and Opera Management in London in the 1730s".
Music & Letters. 67 (4): 347–62. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required
Hunter, David (November 2001). "Handel among the Jacobites". Music & Letters. 82 (4):
543–56. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Joncus, Berta (2006). Handel at Drury Lane: Ballad Opera and the Production of Kitty Clive.
Journal of the Royal Musical Association. 131. pp. 179–226. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via
JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Keates, Jonathan (1985). Handel: The Man and His Music. New York: St Martin's Press.

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ISBN 0312358466.
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King, Richard G. (August 1991). "Handel's Travels in the Netherlands in 1750". Music &
Letters. 72 (3): 372–86. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via JSTOR. (subscription required (help)).
Landon, H.C. Robbins (1984). Handel and his World. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
ISBN 0297784986.
Lang, Paul Henry (1966). George Frideric Handel. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
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White, Harry (1987). "Handel in Dublin: A Note". Eighteenth-Century Ireland / Iris an dá
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External links
"Handel material". BBC Radio 3 archives.
Howell, Ian. "How to Handle Spelling Händel". The Countertenor Voice (February 2011).
Howell, Ian. "Guiding Handel's Legacy: An Interview with Handel House Museum Director
Sarah Bardwell". The Countertenor Voice (May 2011).
Works by George Frideric Handel (https://www.gutenberg.org/author
/Handel,+George+Frideric) at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about George Frideric Handel (https://archive.org
R+Friedrich%29+AND+%28Handel+OR+Händel%29++%29) at Internet Archive
Works by George Frideric Handel (http://librivox.org/author/2630) at LibriVox (public
domain audiobooks)
Edward Dent's Handel biography (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/9089) at Project Gutenberg
The second volume of Winton Dean for "Handel's Operas" covering the years 1726–1741
Friedrich Chrysander's Handel biography (in German) (http://www.zeno.org/Musik
Biographical details (http://www.haendel.haendelhaus.de/en/Biography/Biographic_Details/)
web site
Handel Houses:
Händel-Haus in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt (http://www.haendelhaus.de/en), Handel's
The Handel House Museum (https://handelhendrix.org/) Handel's home in London
Handel Reference Database (http://ichriss.ccarh.org/HRD/)
Digitized images of Old English Songs (http://exploreuk.uky.edu/catalog/xt702v2c9n72_1),
containing works by Handel, housed at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special

Scores and recordings

Free scores by George Frideric Handel (http://openmusiclibrary.org/person/37699/) in the

Open Music Library (http://openmusiclibrary.org)
Free scores by George Frideric Handel at the International Music Score Library Project:

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includes Complete Works Edition (Ausgabe der Deutschen Händelgesellschaft)

Free scores by George Frideric Handel in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
The Mutopia Project (http://www.mutopiaproject.org/cgibin/make-
table.cgi?Composer=HandelGF&preview=1) provides free downloading of sheet music and
MIDI files for some of Handel's works.
Free typeset sheet music (http://cantorion.org/musicsearch/composer/handel/) of Handel's
works from Cantorion.org
Handel cylinder recordings (http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu
/search.php?query=Handel+George+Frideric&queryType=%40attr+1%3D1), from the
Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Handel's Sheet Music (http://www.free-scores.com/Download-PDF-Sheet-Music-George-
Frideric-Handel.htm) by free-scores.com
Kunst der Fuge: George Frideric Handel – MIDI files (http://www.kunstderfuge.com

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=George_Frideric_Handel&


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