March 11, 2013
George F. Handel, a man born in the same time as Johann
Sebastian Bach, has been recognized as one of the most underrated
Baroque composers. Handel was born in the same time as Bach and only
50 miles away. This could largely be related to the reason why Handel is
so underrated. Handel spent a large part of his childhood sneaking away
and playing instruments behind his father's back. With his mother's
assistance, Handel learned how to play the organ and eventually won
his father's consent to study music. Success in music as a child led him
to compose pieces and write operas.
In the early part of Handel's life he spent time playing the organ
for the Calvinist Cathedral. After his stay with the Calvinist Cathedral,
Handel played violin and harpsichord for the only opera company in
Germany that existed outside the royal courts, and also taught private
Having inspiration from playing in an opera, George Handel
wrote his first opera, Almira in 1704. Handel found great success in his
opera. The opera was performed twenty times in total until its place was
taken by Handel's next opera, Nero. After his newly found success
George Handel moved to Italy in 1706 where he gained a wealth of
knowledge on setting Italian lyrics to voice.
In 1710, Geoge Handel was appointed Kapellmeister at Hanover,
but soon took leave to London. Then, in 1719, he became musical
director of the Royal Academy of Music. Much of Handel's time during
the 1720's and 1730's was spent composing operas. While in the midst
of his operas, Handel found the time to compose many other works.
During the last few years of the 1730's, Handels operas were not as
successful. Facing his own mortality in the opera world, Handel
responded by focusing more on oratorio. Handel is best known for his...