GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL1685 - 1759 • Born in Halle, 1685 • Not from a musical family - his father hoped he would pursue law • At age 10, Handel impressed Johann Adolph, Duke of Weissenfels, who then financed his musical studies • Age 17 Handel became organist for one of Halle’s principal churches • In 1703 he moved to Hamburg and became a violinist and harpsichordist in the opera orchestra • In 1706 -Handel went to Italy (Florence, Rome, Venice) to study opera
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL1685 - 1759 • In 1710 Handel returned to Germany as court composer to Georg Ludwig, the Elector of Hanover • 1710 - London - success with opera “Rinaldo” • 1711 - back to Hanover • 1712 - back to England again, producing operas in London • Handel receives an annual stipend from Queen Anne • In 1714, August, Queen Anne died leaving no heir • September 1714 - the crown is passed to the house of Hanover and. . . • Georg Ludwig, the Elector of Hanover, is crowned King George I of England
George I • Formerly, the Elector of Hannover • King of England 1714 - 1727
George II • King of England 1727 - 1760
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL1685 - 1759 • Handel became England’s national composer • The 1720’s English audience begins to tire of the opera plots • In 1737 Handel began to compose oratorios • 1741 - Messiah • Handel died in 1759 and was buried in Westminster Abbey - 3000 people attended his funeral • His reputation grew even after his death • Handel never married • In the 19th century Handel’s music continued to reach a large audience
The Water Music • Composed for an excursion on the Thames river hosted by King George I • First heard on July 17, 1717 • The music is a loose selection of overtures, fanfares, dances, and instrumental airs • The Water Music, as well as the Royal Fireworks Music, is normally heard as a suite • SUITE: • A group of dances presented together as a single composition • The dance suite developed in France and Germany • Water Music • Hornpipe
“…Which His Majesty Liked So Well. . .” • King George I and his party, in a large open barge, went up the river (Thames). About 50 musicians accompanied the King (on a separate barge). The finest music, composed by Mr. Handel, pleased the King so well that it had to be played three times going and returning. • The orchestra consisted of trumpets, horns, hautbois, bassoons, German flutes, French flutes, violins, and basses
The Handel House Museum is located at 25 Brook Street, London, home to the baroque composer George Frideric Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759. It was here that he composed some of the greatest music in history, including Messiah, Zadok the Priest and Fireworks Music.
Did Handel Compose ChristmasCarols? • John Foster (1762-1822, of High Green House, Yorkshire) composed While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night by adapting the aria 'Non vi piacque, ingiusti Dei' from Handel's opera Siroe. • Edward Miller (1735-1807, Doncaster) composed a version by arranging 'See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes' from Handel's oratorio Judas Maccabaeus. • Thomas Taylor (Chester) reworked the harpsichord suite The Harmonious Blacksmith to yield Hymning Seraphs Wake the Morn.
What About “Joy To The World”? • Joy to the World was not composed by Handel. The tune first appeared in the early 1830's in English tune-books. • William Holford revised the tune and published it (which he called Comfort) in the mid-1830's and attributed it to Handel because of the tunes' resemblance to the opening phrases of the choruses Lift Up Your Heads and Glory to God from Messiah. • The American composer Lowell Mason (1792-1872) in 1839 retained the attribution to Handel, changed the tune-name to Antioch, and united it with Isaac Watt's hymn [i.e., text] for the first time. Thus, Joy to the World was born.
If Handel was born in 1685, • why do the Westminster Abbey Handel monument and floor plaque list his birthdate as "February XXIII, MDCLXXXIV" and "1684", respectively? Similarly, why was the first centennial festival of his birth observed in 1784?
Handel's contemporaries • believed Handel's birthdate was 23 February 1684. This birthdate was miscalculated under the incorrect assumption that Handel was born under the old Julian calendar. At the time of his birth in Saxony/Magdeburg, the new Gregorian calendar was already in use. Dates using the Julian calendar placed the beginning dates of a year (up through March 25 -- the day the "new year" began in the Julian calendar) as dates from the previous year.
How did the tradition of the audience standing during 'The Hallelujah Chorus' (from Messiah) begin? Did the King (George II) start this tradition and why did he stand? "...When Messiah was first performed in London (1743), when the chorus struck up, 'For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth' ('Hallelujah Chorus’), reportedly the audience and King [George II] stood and remained standing until the chorus had ended...” (1780)
During Handel's lifetime, his name was mistakenly written as: • Handle, Handell, Hendell, Hendler, Händeler, etc.) • Of interest, he was christened Georg Friederich Händel; however, he first signed his name Georg Friedrich.
Handel and the Oratorio • The Oratoriois a large-scale narrative work with soloists, chorus, orchestra; no sets, costumes, or acting • Handel was an internationally known composer, German-born, trained in Italy, worked in England • Handel’s Messiahis in 3 parts - Christmas, Easter, Redemption
This is a reproduction of the original program, 1742 No. 1 OvertureSlow Fast
Handel, at the low ebb of his career and, as a consequence of a stroke, suffering partial paralysis on his left side, composed Messiah in the incredibly short period of time of 21 days. The composer had been invited to give a series of concerts in Dublin, some of which would benefit various charities. The premiere was met with considerable success and served to boost Handel's spirits for a return to London. While it is true that George II stood during the singing of the mighty "Hallelujah" Chorus at the second London performance, Messiah did not enjoy the popularity of many of Handel's other oratorios during the composer's lifetime. In fact, it was only through Handel's annual Eastertide performances to benefit his favorite charity, the Foundling Hospital, that Messiah was heard at all! • No. 44 Chorus: “Hallelujah”
Boston Handel and Haydn Society • Founded as a choral society in 1815 by a group of Boston merchants, Handel and Haydn is among the oldest continuously performing arts organizations in the country. From its earliest years the Society established its tradition of innovation, performing the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah in 1818, Haydn’s Creation in 1819, Verdi’s Requiem in 1878, and Bach’s B minor Mass in 1887. The Society began performing Handel’s Messiah annually in 1854. Throughout its history the Handel and Haydn Society has brought the world’s most beautiful music, and its greatest artists, to local audiences, setting a standard for orchestral and choral performances that remains unparalleled. King’s Chapel, Boston • Founded in 1686, designed in 1749 • The first Anglican Church in New England • First large building in America to be built of quarried stone • First church in America to use an organ • First American performance of Handel’s “Messiah” were here • First concert home of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society • The bell, weighing over one ton, the largest ever cast by Paul Revere and Sons in 1816
The Castrato • Castrati raised the art of singing beyond human limits • They attained a level of popularity similar to that of the rock stars • The golden age of castrati lasted for two centuries, from the beginning of the 17th Century to the dawn of the 19th Century • The usual explanation given to justify the use of castrati was that women were forbidden to sing in church choirs or theatres in the papal states. However, their vocal supremacy was the real reason for their extraordinary popularity.
Farinelli • Farinelli was the most famous singer of his century and one of the greatest singers of all time • Farinelli enjoyed a mythical status • exceptional voice • highly skilled performer • praised for the beauty of his sound, • the range of his voice covered more than three and a half octaves • he could produce 250 notes in a single breath and sustain a note for more than a minute • Farinelli, at the age of 32, chose to retire from the limelight at the height of his success so he could sing exclusively for King Philip V of Spain who was known to have been severely depressed for many years • Thus began Farinelli's Spanish career, spanning more than two decades in the service of Philip V (1700-46) and Ferdinand VI (1746-59) • Farinelli performed at all the main courts of Europe • Farinelli died in 1782 and was buried on a hillside in Bologna. His tomb no longer exists today as it was destroyed by Napoleon's armies • Farinelli never actually sang for Handel
Farinelli; il castrato 1994 • GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD WINNER • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Alessandro Moreschi 1858-1922 • Bach-Gounod: • “Ave Maria” • Recorded in Rome, April 11, 1904