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: Messiah / Handel & Haydn Society
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Coro  
Catalog: 16125   Number of Discs: 2
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Handel - Heroes From The Shadows / Stutzmann, Orfeo 55
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 623177   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Jephtha / Gilchrist, Bickley, Blaze, Christopers, The Sixteen
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Coro  
Catalog: 16121   Number of Discs: 3
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Handel: Israel In Egypt / The Sixteen
Release Date: 01/01/2003   Label: Coro  
Catalog: 16011   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Coronation Anthems / Christophers, The Sixteen
Release Date: 02/10/2009   Label: Coro  
Catalog: 16066   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

Browse 1-25 of 183 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Handel: Arias & Duets, Between Heaven & Earth / Sandrine Piau
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40037 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Sandrine Piau,  Sara Mingardo,  Topi Lehtipuu
    Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini,  Stefano Montanari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano,  Accademia Bizantina
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  • 2.
    Musica Barocca
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 642238 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Alessandro Marcello,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni Antonini,  Enrico Onofri,  Paolo Grazzi,  Emiliano Rodolfi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Innsbruck Trumpet Consort,  Il Giardino Armonico
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  • 3.
    English Accents: Oboe Players In England During The 1950s
    Label: Oboe Classics   Catalog: 2027 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Winfield,  Leonard Brain,  Sidney Sutcliffe,  Edward Selwyn  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Geraint Jones,  John Minchinton,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble,  Collegium Musicum Londinii,  London Baroque Ensemble  ... 
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  • 4.
    Handel: Complete Orchestral Recordings / Pinnock
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001923802 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Christian Rutherford,  Anthony Halstead,  Simon Standage,  David Reichenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
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  • 5.
    Handel: Water Music - Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564651683 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Lowell Mason,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Richard [Tenor Vocal] Morton,  Felicity Palmer,  John Angelo Messana,  Felicity Lott  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Les Musiciens du Louvre
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  • 6.
    Vivaldi The Four Seasons
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1160 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jaime Laredo
    Conductor:  Jaime Laredo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Portrait / 10forBrass
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 13294 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Giovanni Gabrieli,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  10forBrass
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  • 8.
    Shazam! / Brass Arts Quintet
    Label: Mark Custom Recording Service,   Catalog: 4365 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Greg Danner,  George Frideric Handel,  Erik Satie,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Brass Arts Quintet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brass Arts Quintet
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  • 9.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: B108011 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Carl Boehm,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Interclarinet
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  • 10.
    Bonbons For Organ / Martin Setchell
    Label: Atoll Records (New Zealand)   Catalog: 600 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Renaud,  George Frideric Handel,  Felix Arndt,  Francois Dubois  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Setchell
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  • 11.
    Essential British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40306 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Susan Graham,  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alexander Briger,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Emmanuelle Haïm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
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  • 12.
    Essential Film Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5134 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  James Horner,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Cécile Ousset,  Manuel Barrueco,  Steve Morse  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  David Abel,  Geoff Love  ... 
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  • 13.
    Baroque Treasures
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2579 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  David Daniels,  Chiara Bianchini,  Janet See,  Andrew Lawrence-King  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Roger Norrington,  Andrew Parrott,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Taverner Consort,  Concerto Cologne  ... 
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  • 14.
    Musical Advent Calendar: Jubilaums-edition
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93291 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andreas Hammerschmidt,  George Frideric Handel,  Jill Nordin,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Bongard
    Conductor:  Jan Schumacher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mainz Chamber Choir,  Novas Brass,  Lingenfeld Gospel Choir  ... 
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  • 15.
    Albinoni: Adagio; Pachelbel: Canon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001703302 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Heinz Holliger,  Eric Wyrick,  Eric Bartlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Rafael Kubelik,  Alexander Van Wijnkoop,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 16.
    Classics For Your Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 623247 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Pachelbel,  César Franck,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  David [Pipe Organ] Briggs,  Katia Labèque,  Marielle Labèque  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Andrew Parrott,  Stephen Cleobury,  Paavo Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Ensemble Orchestral de Paris,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Great Baroque Masterpieces
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501061 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Nadja Schubert,  Daniel Rothert,  Corinne Chapelle,  Karl Kaiser  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl,  Kevin Mallon,  Bradley Creswick,  Jozef Kopelman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra,  Aradia Ensemble,  Northern Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 18.
    Handel, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brittten / Marriner
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5064 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 19.
    Ave
    Label: Churchkat   Catalog: 5637920279 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Schubert,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Gerry Manecke,  Colleen Moore
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  • 20.
    Baroque Masterpieces / Neville Marriner, Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85175 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
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  • 21.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 22.
    Festivus - Symphonic Classics / Saxon Wind Philharmonic
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 11221 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  George Frideric Handel,  Ray Farr  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Clamor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saxon Wind Philharmonic
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  • 23.
    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
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  • 24.
    Label: Passion For Pipes   Catalog: 5637815613 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Matt Dickerson,  Denis Bédard,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  David Kevin Lamb
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  • 25.
    Wedding Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82163 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Pachelbel,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Seiffert,  Heinz [Tenor Vocal] Hoppe,  Pilar [Lyric soprano] Lorengar,  Hans Kalafusz  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Heinz Wallberg,  William Christie,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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