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: The Great Oratorios
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Decca  
Catalog: B002522302   Number of Discs: 41
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Handel: Oratorios
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Carus  
Catalog: CV83040   Number of Discs: 13
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Handel: 6 Piano Concertos, Op. 7 / Kirschenreit, Larsen, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 777855-2   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Admeto / Arnet, McGegan, Festspielorchester Gottingen
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 750608   Number of Discs: 2
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Handel & Vivaldi: Notte di tempesta / Baroccade, Meghnagi, Kribus
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Fra Bernardo  
Catalog: FB1604372   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351

Browse 26-50 of 76 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Handel Edition: Concerti Grossi; Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4695517 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Christian Moreaux,  Aline Zylberajch,  Alice Piérot,  Serge Saitta  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Jean-François Paillard,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Concentus Musicus Wien,  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $29.99
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  • 27.
    Georg Friedrich Haendel: Water Music & Fireworks
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 921616 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Mildred J. Hill
    Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert Spirituel
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  • 28.
    Baroque Orchestral Masterpieces
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98533 Release Date: 09/19/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Arcangelo Corelli,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Lajos Lencsés,  Pierre Kremer
    Conductor:  Iona Brown,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Ensemble La Follia,  Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    Greatest Works - Handel / Koch, Creed, Knothe, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184292 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch,  Gisela Fetting,  Werner Stolze,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Marcus Creed,  Dietrich Knothe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 30.
    England - A Musical Journey - Blenheim Palace, Leeds Castle And Castle Howard
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110532 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
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  • 31.
    Handel: Water Music Hwv 348-350, Music For The Royal Fireworks Hwv 351 / Guglielmo, L'arte Dell'arco
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777312 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Federico Guglielmo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Arte dell'Arco
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  • 32.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 33.
    Handel: Water Music, Music For The Royal Fireworks / Savall
    Label: Alia Vox   Catalog: 9860 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Jordi Savall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert des Nations
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  • 34.
    Handel: Water Music, Fireworks Music, Etc / André Previn
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 411047 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Händel: Music For The Royal Fireworks, 2 Concerti A Due Cori
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 411122 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
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  • 36.
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571030 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Soloists
    CD: $6.99
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  • 37.
    Ultimate Handel - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000895002 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Elly Ameling,  Philip Langridge,  Daniel Chorzempa,  Anna Reynolds
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  David Hill,  Jaap Schröder,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus,  Brandenburg Consort  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 38.
    Handel - The Ultimate Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 18502 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Paul Elliott,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Lily Laskine,  Marilyn Horne  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Ton Koopman,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Claudio Scimone  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  The Sixteen,  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 39.
    Handel: Water Music, Fireworks Music / Koch, Berlin Rso
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8546 Release Date: 04/03/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Fireworks / Montréal Baroque Festival
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22367 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Mathieu Lussier,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Melchior Hoffman,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Luc Plourde,  Olivier Thouin,  Mathieu Lussier,  Benoit Loiselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Labadie,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Matthias Maute
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Boréades Montreal,  Theatre of Early Music,  Pacific Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 41.
    The Heroick Mr. Handel / Carroll, New York Trumpet Ensemble
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8205 Release Date: 03/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Edward Carroll,  David Bilger,  Jeffrey Curnow,  Scott Thornburg  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Carroll
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Trumpet Ensemble
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  • 42.
    Handel: Water Music, Royal Fireworks Music / Mallon, Aradia Ensemble
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557764 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble
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  • 43.
    Perfect Autumn Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557978 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 44.
    Festive Overtures
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98454 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Klaus-Peter Hahn,  Alfred Scholz,  Arturo Leonard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Moscow Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Classical Blast
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17328 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonín Dvorák,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 46.
    Expanded Edition - Handel: Water Music, Etc / Boulez, Nypo
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93010 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Cerminaro,  Harold Gomberg
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Handel: Royal Fireworks Music, Water Music / Pearlman, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80594 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
    CD: $16.99
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  • 48.
    Handel: Messiah (Highlights), Etc / Eastman Chorale, Et Al
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 90101 Release Date: 10/02/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra,  Eastman Chorale
    CD: $6.99
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  • 49.
    Prom At The Palace
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 856 Release Date: 07/09/2002  
    Composer:  André Messager,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bliss,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Roberto Alagna,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Adventist Chorale
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 50.
    Gabrieli, Et Al / Güttler, Ludwig Güttler Brass Ensemble
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1715 Release Date: 05/21/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Friedhelm Rentzsch,  Anton Bruckner,  Petr Eben  ... 
    Conductor:  Ludwig Güttler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ludwig Güttler Brass Ensemble
    CD: $19.99
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