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
Suites by Purcell & Handel; Sonatas by Haydn / Pinnock
Release Date: 02/23/2010   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 33   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Agrippina / Malgoire, Gens, Jaroussky, Deletre
Release Date: 04/27/2004   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 431/1-3   Number of Discs: 3
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Handel: Agrippina / Malgoire, Gens, Jaroussky
Release Date: 07/27/2004   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 33431   Number of Discs: 2
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Organo Di Grondona - Ferrini, Handel, Corelli, Etc / Letizia Romiti
Release Date: 02/10/2009   Label: Tactus  
Catalog: 600008   Number of Discs: 1
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Barockstar - George Frideric Handel
Release Date: 11/17/2009   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101375   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Hallelujah!

Browse 26-50 of 204 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Best Classical Hits Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04103 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Sergei Prokofiev,  George Frideric Handel,  Gregorio Allegri  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Matthias Eisenberg,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Stephen Layton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Classical Players
    CD: $7.99
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  • 27.
    In Paradisum - Spiritual Classical Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94412 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Brown,  Angharad Gruffydd Jones,  Lawrence Zazzo,  Pamela Heuvelmans  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Leusink,  Christopher Robinson,  Timothy Brown,  Nicol Matt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Boys' Choir,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Cambridge Bach Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 28.
    A Musical Journey - Germany - A Musical Visit To The Benedictine Abbey Church At Ottobeuren
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110289 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Jaroslav Krcek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Bratislava City Choir
    DVD: $12.99
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  • 29.
    Best Of Handel
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300337 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Christiane Oelze,  Peter Schreier,  Johannes-Ernst Köhler,  Monika Frimmer  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Marcus Creed,  Lothar Seyfarth,  Christian Kluttig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schweriner Blechbläser-Collegium
    CD: $14.99
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  • 30.
    Best 20 / Laurence Equilbey, Accentus
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5290 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Gabriel Fauré,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 31.
    Great Sacred Masterpieces
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501062 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Thomas Tallis,  Gregorio Allegri,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Gonda,  Julia Faulkner,  Nicholas Gedge,  Lisa Beckley  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeremy Summerly,  Michael Halász,  Johannes Wildner,  László Kovács  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Camerata,  Schola Cantorum Oxford,  Camerata Budapest  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $68.99
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  • 32.
    Pavarotti Collection Vol 2
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9913 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 33.
    Songs Of Sunshine
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 343 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  John Rutter,  Sydney Carter,  Franz Biebl  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Vaughn,  Iain Macleod-Jones,  Andrew Mahon,  Christopher Sheldrake
    Conductor:  Matthew Owens
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  • 34.
    Christmas Masterpieces & Familiar Carols / Westminster Choir College Of Rider University
    Label: Westminster Choir   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Hector Berlioz,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Ann Ackley,  Daniel Beckwith
    Conductor:  Joseph Flummerfelt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir,  New Jersey Symphony Orchestra,  Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia
    CD: $17.99
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  • 35.
    The Most Essential Classical Music In Movies
    Label: X5   Catalog: 111 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Claude Debussy,  Carl Orff,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Henrik Mawe,  Jose Perez,  Klemens Schnorr
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner,  David Parry,  Heribert Beissel,  Hanspeter Gmür
    CD: $9.99
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  • 36.
    Label: Supernova Productions   Catalog: 5637857368 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Francis Wade,  William James Kirkpatrick,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert G. Sonnenberg
    CD: $15.99
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  • 37.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Christmas Celebration
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5185 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Billy Vaughn,  Percy Faith,  George Melachrino,  Angela Morley  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 38.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828262 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 39.
    Best Choruses 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80416 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 40.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 41.
    Rise Of The Masters: 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 107 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Jakob Lindberg,  Yoshikazu Mera,  Finghin Collins,  Dubravka Tomsic  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils-Erik Sparf,  Shigeo Genda,  Bohdan Warchal,  Masaaki Suzuki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble,  Bach Collegium Japan,  Arion Trio  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 42.
    The 50 Most Essential Christmas Masterpieces
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 103 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Hugh Martin,  Lowell Mason,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Verhey,  Michael Ponti,  Susanne Doll
    Conductor:  Klaus Arp,  Alun Francis,  Robert Shaw,  Heribert Beissel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Antonio Lucio,  Musica Antiqua New York,  Bach Collegium Japan  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 43.
    Label: Quietime   Catalog: 582 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stainer,  Traditional,  Richard Storrs Willis,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Nordhoff
    CD: $11.99
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  • 44.
    The Power Of Handel
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 44 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Margot Oitzinger,  Marek Rzepka,  Christopher Purves,  Miriam [Soprano Vocal] Allan  ... 
    Conductor:  Jürgen Budday
    CD: $18.99
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  • 45.
    Music For A Royal Wedding
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4674219 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Jorgen Ernst Hansen,  Placido Domingo,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Camille Maurane  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Edward Higginbottom,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capricorn (Ensemble),  Il Giardino Armonico
    CD: $18.99
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  • 46.
    Canadian Brass - The Classics
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 7400 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Joseph Mouret,  Henry Purcell,  Thomas Morley,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass
    CD: $29.98
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  • 47.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2053678 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Sally Matthews,  Lawrence Brownlee,  Christian Gerhaher
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    Recommendation
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  • 48.
    Christmas At America's First Cathedral
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49277 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Eleanor Daley,  Grant McLachlan,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Leslie Starr,  Jane Marvine,  Anita Thesen,  Sara Nichols  ... 
    Conductor:  Tom Hall
    CD: $17.99
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  • 49.
    Christmas With The Washington Chorus
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92117 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Glenn L. Rudolph,  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Wachner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Capital Brass and Percussion Ensemble,  Washington Chorus,  Whitman Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 50.
    Christmas Choruses
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149552 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Heinrich Schütz,  Samuel Scheidt
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