George Frideric Handel was born in Halle, Germany, on February 23, 1685. He died in
London on April 14,1759 and was buried in Westminister Abbey. Handel was one of the famous
composers of the Baroque Period. This great composer was mostly known very well for his
English Oratorio, particularly the Messiah. His trouble in his operas that he made lied
within his uncertain temper and uncertain lack of tact.
Handel first learned how to play from an instrument called a clavichord. This was like
a forerunner of the piano. With the help of one of Handel's friend, they smuggled the
instrument up to his attic in his house. Every night he would sneak up to the attic after
everyone was asleep and he'd play it until he finally mastered it. The instrument could
not be heard through the closed doors. When he was about twelve, he went to Berlin to
study and while there he became well-known for playing the Harpsichord. Handel's parents
wanted Handel to grow up in the profession of law, but music was in Handel's blood. When
Handel's father soon realized this, he sent Handel away to study in Berlin. In Berlin,
Handel was taught under the great composer Frideric Wilhelm Zachau.
One of the great influences on Handle was while he was writing the Messiah in three
weeks. Handle, before writing the Messiah, had rented a theatre for his own use, and
though he had some successes, he had more failures. He was bankrupt twice through his
opera business. If Handel had been more successful with his with his operas, we would
never have had the grand oratorios for which his name is most famous for now. This is
because when he had exhausted himself with the operas, he started to make the oratorios.
He was the director of music in Italy for several years and he was a composer of the
Italian style music in England and even absorbed the characteristics of English music
especially English Choral Music.
Like was said before, Handel wrote many oratorios and operas. He didn't have many
famous operas, but he had some. Some of his operas are: Giulio Casare, Tamerlano, Orlando,
Alcina, and Serse. He had many different oratorios though. Of the many, his one that he is
most famous for is the Messiah for it is not so much dramatic as Meditative. I have
included a few pages from his play Israel in Egypt. The most famous instrument of his time
was a mixture of things, but he preferred the Violin while making the operas and
My impression on Handel is that he was a very creative person always thinking up new
and recent ideas for his time. I would have liked to live his life because he was able to
sneak up to his attic late at night and because he made some very famous plays which are
being revived and the oratorios like Messiah which are being said every Christmas by some
family. Handel was probably inspired to write that wonderful music was heroic historical
figures for the plays and the Bible for the oratorios. I admired Handel for his will to
keep on making music after so many people made fun of him with this song:
" Some say, compared to Buononcini "
" That Mynheer Handel's but a ninny; "
" Others aver that he to Handel "
" Is scarcely fit to hold a candle. "
" Strange all this difference should be "
" 'Twixt tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. "
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