George Frideric Handel was born in Halle, Germany, on
February 23, 1685. He died in London on April 14,1759 and
was buried in Westminister Abbey. Handel was one of the
famous composers of the Baroque Period. This great composer
was mostly known very well for his English Oratorio,
particularly the Messiah. His trouble in his operas that he
made lied within his uncertain temper and uncertain lack of
Handel first learned how to play from an instrument called
a clavichord. This was like a forerunner of the piano. With
the help of one of Handel's friend, they smuggled the
instrument up to his attic in his house. Every night he
would sneak up to the attic after everyone was asleep and
he'd play it until he finally mastered it. The instrument
could not be heard through the closed doors. When he was
about twelve, he went to Berlin to study and while there he
became well-known for playing the Harpsichord. Handel's
parents wanted Handel to grow up in the profession of law,
but music was in Handel's blood. When Handel's father soon
realized this, he sent Handel away to study in Berlin. In
Berlin, Handel was taught under the great composer Frideric
Wilhelm Zachau.
One of the great influences on Handle was while he was
writing the Messiah in three weeks. Handle, before writing
the Messiah, had rented a theatre for his own use, and
though he had some successes, he had more failures. He was
bankrupt twice through his opera business. If Handel had
been more successful with his with his operas, we would
never have had the grand oratorios for which his name is
most famous for now. This is because when he had exhausted
himself with the operas, he started to make the oratorios.
He was the director of music in Italy for several years and
he was a composer of the Italian style music in England and
even absorbed the characteristics of English music
especially English Choral Music.
Like was said before, Handel wrote many oratorios and
operas. He didn't have many famous operas, but he had some.
Some of his operas are: Giulio Casare, Tamerlano, Orlando,
Alcina, and Serse. He had many different oratorios though.
Of the many, his one that he is most famous for is the
Messiah for it is not so much dramatic as Meditative. I
have included a few pages from his play Israel in Egypt.
The most famous instrument of his time was a mixture of
things, but he preferred the Violin while making the operas
and oratorios.
My impression on Handel is that he was a very creative
person always thinking up new and recent ideas for his
time. I would have liked to live his life because he was
able to sneak up to his attic late at night and because he
made some very famous plays which are being revived and the
oratorios like Messiah which are being said every Christmas
by some family. Handel was probably inspired to write that
wonderful music was heroic historical figures for the plays
and the Bible for the oratorios. I admired Handel for his
will to keep on making music after so many people made fun
of him with this song:
" Some say, compared to Buononcini
" That Mynheer Handel's but a ninny;
" Others aver that he to 

" " Is scarcely fit to hold a candle. " " Strange all this difference should be " " 'Twixt tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. "


1) The Book Of Knowledge - The Grolier Society Published by: The Amalgamated Press Copyright: 1926-35

2) The Prodigy Service - Interactive Peronal Service Made By: Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc. Copyright: 1990


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