George Frideric Handel

Biography

Born: 1685   Died: 1759   Country: Germany   Period: Baroque
Most music lovers have encountered George Frederick Handel through holiday-time renditions of the Messiah's "Hallelujah" chorus. And many of them know and love that oratorio of Christ's life and death, as well as a few other greatest hits like the orchestral Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music, and perhaps Judas Maccabeus or one of the other English oratorios. Yet his operas, for which he was widely known in his own time, are the province Read more mainly of specialists in Baroque music, and the events of his life, even though they reflected some of the most important musical issues of the day, have never become as familiar as the careers of Bach or Mozart. Perhaps the single word that best describes his life and music is "cosmopolitan": he was a German composer, trained in Italy, who spent most of his life in England.

Handel was born in the German city of Halle on February 23, 1685. His father noted but did not nurture his musical talent, and he had to sneak a small keyboard instrument into his attic to practice. As a child he studied music with Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, organist at the Liebfrauenkirche, and for a time he seemed destined for a career as a church organist himself. After studying law briefly at the University of Halle, Handel began serving as organist on March 13, 1702, at the Domkirche there. Dissatisfied, he took a post as violinist in the Hamburg opera orchestra in 1703, and his frustration with musically provincial northern Germany was perhaps shown when he fought a duel the following year with the composer Matheson over the accompaniment to one of Matheson's operas. In 1706 Handel took off for Italy, then the font of operatic innovation, and mastered contemporary trends in Italian serious opera. He returned to Germany to become court composer in Hannover, whose rulers were linked by family ties with the British throne; his patron there, the Elector of Hannover, became King George I of England. English audiences took to his 1711 opera Rinaldo, and several years later Handel jumped at the chance to move to England permanently. He impressed King George early on with the Water Music of 1716, written as entertainment for a royal boat outing.

Through the 1720s Handel composed Italian operatic masterpieces for London stages: Ottone, Serse (Xerxes), and other works often based on classical stories. His popularity was dented, though, by new English-language works of a less formal character, and in the 1730s and 1740s Handel turned to the oratorio, a grand form that attracted England's new middle-class audiences. Not only Messiah but also Israel in Egypt, Samson, Saul, and many other works established him as a venerated elder of English music. The oratorios displayed to maximum effect Handel's melodic gift and the sense of timing he brought to big choral numbers. Among the most popular of all the oratorios was Judas Maccabeus, composed in 32 days in 1746. Handel presented the oratorio six times during its first season and about 40 times before his death 12 years later, conducting it 30 times himself. In 1737, Handel suffered a stroke, which caused both temporary paralysis in his right arm and some loss of his mental faculties, but he recovered sufficiently to carry on most normal activity. He was urged to write an autobiography, but never did. Blind in old age, he continued to compose. He died in London on April 14, 1759. Beethoven thought Handel the greatest of all his predecessors; he once said, "I would bare my head and kneel at his grave." Read less

Handel: Water Music / Huss, Haydn Sinfonietta Wien
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2027   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: The Triumph Of Time & Truth
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Delphian  
Catalog: 34135   Number of Discs: 2
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Handel: Teseo (Highlights) / Labelle, Forsythe, McGegan
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Philharmonia Baroque (Label)  
Catalog: 7   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Terpsicore; Ballet Scenes From Ariodante
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 3033   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Gloria, Dixit Dominus / Cummings, Kirkby, Et Al
Release Date: 12/15/2001   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1235   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Hallelujah!

Browse 251-275 of 294 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Handel: The Messiah - Highlights / Scholars Baroque Ensemble
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553258 Release Date: 08/28/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Angus Davidson,  Kym Amps,  David Van Asch,  Robin Doveton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scholars Baroque Ensemble
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  • 252.
    Christmas At The Pops - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68266 Release Date: 08/15/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  John Frederic Coots,  Richard Hayman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  John Birch,  Alfred Krips,  John Grady  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Arthur Fiedler Orchestra,  Arthur Fiedler Chorus  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 253.
    Baroque - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66706 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Eugenia Earle,  Sol Goichberg,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann,  Max Goberman,  Jean-Claude Malgoire,  Hartmut Haenchen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Sinfonietta,  Westminster Cathedral Choir  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 254.
    Classics - The Power & The Majesty / Shaw, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80397 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Hector Berlioz,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dent
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Morehouse-Spellman Chorus  ... 
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  • 255.
    Discover Classical Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550008-09 Release Date: 12/08/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Zdenek Tylsar,  Bedrich Tylsar,  Alison Crum  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Richard Edlinger,  Ondrej Lenárd,  Stephen Gunzenhauser  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana,  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 256.
    Hallelujah! - Great Choral Classics / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443381 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Brackett,  Traditional,  J. T. White,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  John Longhurst,  Robert Cundick
    Conductor:  Jerold Ottley,  Julius Rudel,  Joseph Silverstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 257.
    Hallelujah! - Famous Händel Choruses / Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 995498 Release Date: 09/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Stockholm Bach Choir  ... 
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  • 258.
    Handel - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64066 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Edita Gruberova,  Wynton Marsalis,  Albert de Klerk,  Igor Kipnis
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Eugene Ormandy,  Raymond Leppard,  Sir Charles Groves  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 259.
    Handel Bars - Popular Works Of George Frideric Handel
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80344 Release Date: 07/26/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Jeffrey Curnow,  Eric Ruske,  Scott Hartman,  Sam Pilafian  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Pearlman,  Robert Shaw,  Keith Clark,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Empire Brass,  Boston Baroque,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 260.
    Allegri: Miserere And Other Choral Masterpieces
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550827 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Di Mauro,  Martina Koppelstetter
    Conductor:  Jeremy Summerly,  Mátyás Antal,  Johannes Wildner,  Zdenek Kosler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Camerata,  Hungarian Radio Chorus,  Failoni Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 261.
    Discover The Classics Volume 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550035-36 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johann Pachelbel,  Carl Orff,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Gilbert Rowland,  Norbert Kraft,  Klára Körmendi,  Graciela Alperyn  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Andrew Mogrelia,  Nicholas Ward  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Chorus,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 262.
    Great Choral Music
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57254 Release Date: 02/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Schubert,  Charles Gounod,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Titov,  Valeria Stenkina
    Conductor:  Alexander Titov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Conservatory Chorus,  St. Petersburg Conservatory Chamber Orchestra
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  • 263.
    Classics - Handel: Messiah (Highlights) / Pearlman
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80348 Release Date: 10/26/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Catherine Robbin,  Bruce Fowler,  Victor Ledbetter,  Karen Clift
    Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
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  • 264.
    Basic 100 Vol 21 - Handel: Messiah Highlights / Beecham
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61718 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Giorgio Tozzi,  Jennifer Vyvyan,  Monica Sinclair,  Jon Vickers
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Chorus,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 265.
    Ave Maria - Christmas Favorites / Doming, Lanza, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61838 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Charles Gounod,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Storrs Willis  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Mario Lanza,  Hermann Prey,  Osian Ellis  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Helmuth Froschauer,  Eugene Ormandy,  Henri René  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 266.
    O Holy Night - Christmas Favorites / Galway, Stoltzman, Etc
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61836 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  George Frideric Handel,  Raymond Scott,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Performer:  John Grady,  Al Hirt,  Bill Douglas,  Richard Stoltzman  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Martin Neary,  James Galway
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Boston Pops,  Guildhall String Ensemble  ... 
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  • 267.
    Christmas Sing Along / Westenburg, Rca Victor Singers
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61910 Release Date: 07/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  William Whitehead
    Conductor:  Richard Westenburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Singers
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  • 268.
    Christmas With Solid Brass
    Label: Dorian Recordings   Catalog: 90114 Release Date: 05/06/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Holst,  George Frideric Handel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Elizabeth DiSavino,  Hans Muller,  Hugh Eddy,  Carl Della Peruti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Solid Brass
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  • 269.
    The Vienna Boys' Choir - Portrait
    Label: Philips Insignia Series   Catalog: 434726 Release Date: 04/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Ingomar Rainer,  Max Emanuel Cencic,  Alfred Halbartschlager,  Dominik Orieschnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Uwe Christian Harrer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chorus Viennensis,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 270.
    Music For All Occasions
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61488 Release Date: 01/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Irving Berlin,  George Frideric Handel,  Adriaen Valerius  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Krips,  James Galway
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Arthur Fiedler,  James Galway,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  Boston Pops,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 271.
    Handel: The Great Choruses From Messiah / Robert Shaw
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61368 Release Date: 09/15/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robert Arnold,  Robert Conant,  Florence Kopleff,  Richard Lewis
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  Robert Shaw Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 272.
    World's Greatest Choruses
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61241 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Martin Luther,  George Frideric Handel,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Dunn,  Thomas Pyle,  Genevičve Macaux,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Robert Shaw,  Richard Westenburg,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Robert Shaw Chorale  ... 
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  • 273.
    Sleighride! - Classic Christmas Favorites
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61373 Release Date: 08/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  John Grady,  Johannes Sonnleitner,  John De Lancie,  Al Hirt  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Eugene Ormandy,  Richard Kapp,  Helmuth Froschauer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 274.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of The British Isles
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47280 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  David Nadien,  Edward Carroll
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Richard P. Condie,  Richard Kapp  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 275.
    Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 48296 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Jerold Ottley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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