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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 / Higginbottom, AAM, Oxford New College Choir
Release Date: 10/31/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570131   Number of Discs: 2
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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: Messiah / Hogwood
Release Date: 09/27/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2269   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Agrippina / Daniels, Ostman
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2054538   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Messiah / Boult, Sutherland, Bumbry, Mckellar, Ward
Release Date: 10/22/2007   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 433003   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Zadok the Priest

Browse 76-99 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Festive Baroque - Albinoni, Corelli, Et Al / Terfel, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469247 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jeremiah Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston,  Hans-Peter Westermann,  Piet Dhont,  Michael Niesemann  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Reinhard Goebel,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  English Baroque Soloists  ... 
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  • 77.
    Handel: Famous Arias & Choruses
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 468151 Release Date: 09/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Dame Janet Baker,  Elly Ameling
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Colin Davis,  Vjekoslav Sutej,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 78.
    Music from the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
    Label: Griffin   Catalog: 3050 Release Date: 06/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Herbert Howells,  William Henry Harris,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Martin [Choral Conductor] Baker,  Andrew Crowley,  Mark Bennett,  Thomas Sneddon  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Brass
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  • 79.
    Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass / Willcocks, King's College Choir
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 458623 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  John Langdon,  Thurston Dart,  Dame Janet Baker,  Elizabeth Vaughan  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 80.
    Handel, Blow: Anthems / Willcocks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436256 Release Date: 05/25/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Blow,  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 81.
    The Elegant Pipes Of San Sylmar - Handel, Kreisler, Et Al
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11090 Release Date: 03/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Thomas Hazleton
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  • 82.
    Angelic Voices - The Best Of The Vienna Boys' Choir
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462778 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Quirino Mendoza y Cortez,  José Fernández Díaz,  Daniel Aloymias Robles  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Marschik,  Max Emanuel Cencic,  Roman Ortner,  Alfred Halbartschlager  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Marschik,  Uwe Christian Harrer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Chamber Orchestra,  Chorus Viennensis  ... 
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  • 83.
    Great Choral Classics From King's - Allegri, Tallis, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 452949 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Thomas Tallis,  Orlando Gibbons,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston,  Francis Baines,  Bernard Richards,  John Langdon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Jacobean Viol Consort,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 84.
    King's Collection
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460021 Release Date: 03/05/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Tavener,  Geoffrey Burgon,  Henry Walford Davies,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  Edward Gardner,  James Vivian,  Robert Quinney
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 85.
    Hallelujah - Handel: Choruses / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456502 Release Date: 01/13/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Alastair Ross,  Paul Nicholson,  Carolyn Watkinson
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
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  • 86.
    Dies Irae - The Essential Choral Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457196 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Torgny Sporsen,  Nigel Robson,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Della Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Richter,  Neeme Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Choral Society,  BBC Concert Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
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  • 87.
    Handel: 4 Coronation Anthems, Etc / King's College, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455041 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  David Thomas,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Judith Nelson  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Preston,  David Hill,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir,  Winchester Cathedral Choir  ... 
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  • 88.
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454172 Release Date: 09/06/1996  
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Gustav Holst,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Della Jones
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra,  Royal Choral Society Choir
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  • 89.
    The Best Of Handel / Marriner, Schröder, Gardiner, Et Al
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 454029 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Jean-Claude Hermanjat,  André Pépin,  Ursula Holliger,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  I Musici,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 90.
    Millenium Of Music / Neary, Westminster Abbey Choir
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66614 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando Gibbons,  William Cornysh,  John Tyes,  Peter Hurford  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Baker
    Conductor:  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Handel: Coronation Anthems, Etc / Preston, Pinnock
    Label: Dg Archiv Masters   Catalog: 447280 Release Date: 08/15/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Simon Preston
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Westminster Abbey Choir
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  • 92.
    Händel: Israel In Egypt, Etc / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432110 Release Date: 04/07/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Elisabeth Priday,  Donna Deam,  Ashley Stafford,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 93.
    Hallelujah! - Great Choral Classics / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443381 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Brackett,  Traditional,  J. T. White,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  John Longhurst,  Robert Cundick
    Conductor:  Jerold Ottley,  Julius Rudel,  Joseph Silverstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Handel: Royal Fireworks, Coronation Anthems / King's Consort
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66350 Release Date: 11/16/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Robert King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford New College Choir,  King's Consort
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  • 95.
    Handel: Dixit Dominus, Etc / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45136 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Angelo Messana,  David Wilson-Johnson,  Richard Morton,  Felicity Palmer  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 96.
    The Royal Salute / Reeves, Band Of The Life Guards
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 48473 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Sir William Walton,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Conductor:  Major Colin Reeves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Life Guards Band
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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 453167 Release Date: 12/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Geraint Jones Singers,  Geraint Jones Orchestra
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