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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Vivaldi, Sammartini, Telemann, Handel: Recorder Concertos / Michala Petri
Release Date: 02/18/2009   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 400075   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Tamerlano / Gauvin, Cencic, Minasi, Il Pomo D’oro
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 5373   Number of Discs: 3
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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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Work: Zadok the Priest

Browse 51-75 of 108 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Last Night Of The Proms / Procter, White, Clarey, Simpson, Rattle, Boult, Davis, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 28379 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Gustav Holst,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Thomas Augustine Arne  ... 
    Performer:  Marietta Simpson,  Willard White,  Cynthia Clarey
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Richard Cooke,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Choral Society,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 52.
    Label: Classic Fm   Catalog: 1425204 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jean Sibelius,  Max Bruch,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
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  • 53.
    Handel: Essential Handel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444543 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various,  George Frideric Handel
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  • 54.
    The Best Of Baroque
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 22104 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Gregorio Allegri  ... 
    Performer:  Gérard Lesne,  Véronique Gens,  Lorenzo Cavasanti,  Mark Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Jonathan Rees,  Andrew Parrott,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Scottish Ensemble  ... 
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  • 55.
    The World Of King's / Willcocks, King's College Choir Cambridge
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430092 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Orlando Gibbons,  William Croft  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  David Willcocks,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Best Of London - Sullivan, Elgar, Handel, Holst, Walton, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572098-99 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Francis Cutting,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Linell,  Matthew Larkin,  John Lenehan
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Noel Edison,  Howard Griffiths,  Kees Bakels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Elora Choir of St. John's,  English Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 57.
    The Handel Experience / Scimone, Koopman, Leppard, Gardiner, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 511586 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Lowell Mason
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Ton Koopman,  Felicity Palmer,  Ryland Davies  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Marc Minkowski,  William Christie,  Ton Koopman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
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  • 58.
    Handel: Dettingen Te Deum, Zadok The Priest / Layton
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67678 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Neal Davies,  Robin Firth,  Christopher Lowrey,  Richard Marlow
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
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  • 59.
    Handel: Coronation Anthems, Etc / Marriner, Asmf & Chorus
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412733 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus
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  • 60.
    Frederica Von Stade, Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Simple Gifts
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436284 Release Date: 09/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Robert Browne Hall,  Aaron Copland,  Joseph Canteloube  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  John Longhurst
    Conductor:  Joseph Silverstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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  • 61.
    40 Most Beautiful Classical Anthems
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 284732 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Aram Khachaturian,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
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  • 62.
    Simply Handel
    Label: Union Square   Catalog: 1206075 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Christophe Rousset,  Ryo Terakado,  Kaori Uemura,  Hidemi Suzuki  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaroslav Krcek,  Jeremy Summerly,  Andrew Manze,  Thomas Füri
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  • 63.
    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  ... 
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  • 64.
    (The) Power And The Glory
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 1049264 Release Date: 03/27/2007  
    Composer:  Karl Jenkins,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Charles Hubert Parry,  John Rutter  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  Charles Craig
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  Philip Moore,  Ian Tracey,  Maurice Handford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  York Minster Choir  ... 
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  • 65.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    The #1 Baroque Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000660302 Release Date: 08/08/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel,  Pier Francesco Cavalli,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Andreas Scholl,  Barbara Bonney,  András Schiff  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roger Norrington  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
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  • 67.
    Hymnus / Gruberova, Sjokvist, Et Al
    Label: Nightingale Classics   Catalog: 130560 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Urban Agnas,  Edita Gruberova
    Conductor:  Gustaf Sjökvist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Chamber Orchestra,  Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir
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  • 68.
    The #1 Baroque Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4757492 Release Date: 07/03/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Henry Purcell,  Gregorio Allegri,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Alastair Hussain,  Andreas Scholl,  Eduardo Fernandez  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Stephen Cleobury,  Christophe Rousset,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Les Talens Lyriques  ... 
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 69.
    Essential Choral Classics
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000691802 Release Date: 06/13/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joseph Brackett,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Lucia Valentini-Terrani,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerold Ottley,  Romano Gandolfi,  Sir Georg Solti,  George Guest  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Vienna Concert-Verein  ... 
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  • 70.
    The Best Baroque Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54468 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  George Malcolm,  Wayne Marshall,  Anthony Bailes,  Bob van Asperen  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble  ... 
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  • 71.
    Label: Pomaton   Catalog: 3489232 Release Date: 11/18/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Johann Pachelbel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec,  Cécile Ousset,  Giulio Franzetti,  Izzy  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Simon Rattle,  Riccardo Muti,  Michael Nyman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic soloists
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  • 72.
    The Very Best Of Handel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8552109-10 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
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  • 73.
    Handel: Coronation Anthems, Dixit Dominus
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 85454 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robert Tear,  John Shirley-Quirk,  John Langdon,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Changing The Guard - Great Military Music
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1127 Release Date: 02/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Traditional,  R.A. Ridings,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
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  • 75.
    Cinema Classics 2004 - Master And Commander, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556813 Release Date: 06/15/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
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