12 Facts About George Frideric Handel


George Frideric Handel was a German, later British, baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos.

An anthem is a musical composition of celebration, usually used as a symbol for a distinct group, particularly the national anthems of countries.

An organ concerto is a piece of music, an instrumental concerto for a pipe organ soloist with an orchestra.

London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom.

George Frideric Handel - Water Music - Orchestre Paul Kuentz by Classical Experience


Handel received important training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727.

George Frideric Handel's Messiah by University of Notre Dame


He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

For information regarding Baroque art in Italy, please see Italian Baroque art, for information regarding Baroque architecture in Italy, please see Italian Baroque architecture, and for material regarding Baroque interior design in Italy, see Italian Baroque interior design.


Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera.


Musicologist Winton Dean writes that his operas show that "Handel was not only a great composer; he was a dramatic genius of the first order."

Winton Basil Dean was an English musicologist of the 20th century, most famous for his research concerning the life and works—in particular the operas and oratorios—of George Frideric Handel, as detailed in his book Handel's Dramatic Oratorios and Masques.


As Alexander's Feast was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works.


After his success with Messiah he never composed an Italian opera again.


Almost blind, and having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man.


His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster.


Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining steadfastly popular.

The Music for the Royal Fireworks is a wind band suite composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the fireworks in London's Green Park on 27 April 1749.

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.


One of his four Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing.


Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and historically informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown.

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