George Frideric Handel

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George Frideric Handel (German: Georg Friedrich Händel; pronounced [ˈhɛndəl]) (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer. He is famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel was born in Germany in the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. He received critical musical training in Italy before settling in London and becoming a naturalised British subject.[1] His works include Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. He was strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic Choral tradition. Handel's music was well-known to many composers, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.


Early years

Handel was born in Halle to Georg and Dorothea (née Taust) Händel in 1685,[2]:[1]. His father, Georg Händel, 63 when his son was born, was an eminent barber-surgeon who also served as surgeon to the court of Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg.[3] According to John Mainwaring, his first biographer, "Handel had discovered such a strong propensity to Music, that his father who always intended him for the study of the Civil Law, had reason to be alarmed. He strictly forbade him to meddle with any musical instrument but Handel found means to get a little clavichord privately convey'd to a room at the top of the house. To this room he constantly stole when the family was asleep".[4] At an early age Handel became a skillful performer on the harpsichord and pipe organ.[5]:[3–4]

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