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Handel Return to List of Composers
George Frederick Handel was born in Germany in 1685. This composer belonged to the Baroque period, and died in 1759. George Frederick Handel

George Handel, although born in Halle, Germany,  became naturalised as an English citizen, and lived in England most of his life, working often for his patron, King George I.

At the age of 17 he became organist at Halle Cathedral, then he worked in Hamburg before moving to Italy. In Rome he became acquainted with Scarlatti and Corelli. In 1710 he met the Prince of Hanover, whose brother was searching for a new chapel-master, and Handel took the position, on condition he could visit England first. He then moved to London, where he wrote operas in the Italian style, and overstayed his time there whilst still being paid by the Elector of Hanover. Queen Anne died in 1714, and Handel's boss became King George I of England. Instead of punishing him for his absence from Hanover, King George doubled his pension. A popular rumour claimed that Handel wrote the Water Music for King George I  to say sorry for being away from Hanover for so long. This is probably untrue, why would the King double his pension? But it is a nice story, epitomized by the words "please remember me" which seem to fit the Air in F from the 7th movement. (This can be heard from the list of Handel's music below).

Handel moved away from opera and started writing oratorios, which were like operas but without the stage action. Famous among these are Samson, Judas Maccabaeus, and Belshazzar, but most famous of all is the Messiah. He also wrote the "Royal Fireworks Music" for King George II, to celebrate the peace treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle in 1749. Also he wrote many concertos, called concerti grossi.

Handel was famous in his day, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Works written by Handel      
Audio is available for 30 tunes by this composer.
No.Name of WorkCategoryEnsembleSoloInstrument
1 Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - from SolomonShort PieceOrchestra 
2 Harmonious Blacksmith (Air and 2 variations, from 5th harpsichord Suite)Short PieceOrchestra 
3 Joy to the WorldSacredSoloOrgan
4 Judas MaccabeusOperaOrchestra 
5 Music for the Royal FireworksSuiteTrioViolin
6 O Lovely Peace (Anthem for two voices)SongOther EnsemblesVoice
7 Ombra mai piu - Aria from Xerxes (Largo)OperaSoloPiano
8 Organ Concerto No.4ConcertoOrchestraOrgan
9 Organ Concerto No.6 in Bb Op 4 No.6ConcertoOrchestraHarp
10 SamsonOperaSoloVoice
11 The Messiah. OratorioSacredChoirChoirVoices
12 Water MusicSuiteOrchestra 
13 While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by NightSacredSoloOrgan
14 Zadok the PriestSacredChoirChoirVoices
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