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 Opera DVD 4-Pack
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4986   Number of Discs: 5
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Handel: Messiah / Haim, Crowe, Mead, Purves, Staples
Release Date: 10/28/2014   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 624055   Number of Discs: 2
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Handel: Rinaldo / Jacobs, Genaux, Persson, Kalna
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 921796   Number of Discs: 3
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Handel: Water Music / Pople
Release Date: 09/12/2006   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 304980   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Alcina / Curtis, DiDonato, Rensburg, Beaumont
Release Date: 04/14/2009   Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)  
Catalog: 4777374   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Hallelujah!

Browse 251-269 of 269 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    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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  • 252.
    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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  • 253.
    Handel: Messiah (Choruses)
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550317 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Jaroslav Krcek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Bratislava City Choir
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  • 254.
    Handel: Messiah - Arias & Choruses / Solti, Chicago So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430098 Release Date: 09/13/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Gwynne Howell,  Anne Gjevang,  Keith Lewis
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
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  • 255.
    Concert Of The Century / Bernstein, Horowitz, Stern, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46743 Release Date: 04/19/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oratorio Society of New York,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 256.
    Handel: Messiah - Highlights / Bernstein, New York Po
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 38481 Release Date: 01/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  William Warfield,  Adele Addison,  Russell Oberlin,  David Lloyd
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 257.
    Choral Masterpieces / Robert Shaw, Atlanta So & Chorus
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80119 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Frideric Handel,  Hector Berlioz,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanné Brown,  Oliver Sueing,  Wayne Baughman
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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  • 258.
    Greatest Hits / Canadian Brass
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 14733 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas "Fats" Waller,  Traditional,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Grady
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass
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  • 259.
    Handel: Great Choruses From The Messiah / Malgoire, Et Al
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Digital Masters   Catalog: 44787 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Jean-Claude Malgoire
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Worcester Cathedral Choir,  La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy
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  • 260.
    Handel: Messiah Choruses / Condie, Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 32935 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Richard P. Condie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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  • 261.
    Handel: Messiah Highlights / Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orch
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80103 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Richard Stilwell,  Jon Humphrey,  Alfreda Hodgson,  Layton James  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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  • 262.
    Joy To The World / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chorus
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 6430 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jay Livingston,  Traditional,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  John De Lancie
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 263.
    White Christmas / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 419414 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Leroy Anderson,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Hanns-Martin Schneidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Regensburger Domspatzen,  Collegium St. Emmeram
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  • 264.
    The Christmas Album / Canadian Brass
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426835 Release Date: 08/10/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  James Pierpont,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Performer:  Lydia Adams,  Aaron Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Iseler Singers
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  • 265.
    Silent Night- Greatest Hits Of Christmas / Mormon Tabernacle
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 37206 Release Date: 07/16/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional,  Jay Livingston,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerold Ottley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Columbia Percussion Ensemble,  Columbia Brass Ensemble
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  • 266.
    Classical Christmas
    Label: Laserlight   Catalog: 15147 Release Date: 10/06/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum,  Berlin RIAS Sinfonietta
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  • 267.
    Ave Maria / Jose Carreras, Uwe Christian Harrer, Vienna Boys' Choir
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 411138 Release Date: 03/30/1984   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras
    Conductor:  Uwe Christian Harrer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 268.
    An Old-world Christmas - Holiday Favorites From Europe
    Label: Dg Musikfest   Catalog: 413657 Release Date: 01/01/1980   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Traditional,  Carl Loewe  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  Georg Ratzinger,  Erhard Mauersberger,  Adolf Detel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Brass  ... 
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