George Frideric Handel Research Paper

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George Frideric Handel George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a baroque era composer, with an impressive repertoire of compositions. Handel didn’t grow up in a music rich environment, but in fact, he was forbidden by his father to touch any musical instrument, but found time when everyone else was asleep to play a clavichord he had smuggled to an upstairs room in the house. He grew up in Halle, Germany and at the age of 18, he traveled to Hamburg, and took a job as a violinist in the Hamburg Opera House. He supported himself by giving private lessons, and eventually published his first opera, Almira. That was in 1703. By the end of 1710 he had completed an Italian tour that included visits to Florence, Rome, …show more content…

Despite his success, life was not exactly easy for Handel. He was often criticized by members of the English social establishment because of his artistic endeavors. Some of them had considered italian operas silly, and some believed that his biblical dramas were profane. Case and point: Messiah, which he wrote, was well received in Dublin at its premiere in 1742. however, when it came to London a year later, it was clouded by controversy. The summer of 1737 took its toll on Handel physically as he had several bouts of serious illness. Most likely these episodes were strokes, but the myth that it was central nervous system lead poisoning is also widely accepted because of his imbibing of cheap port. As the years went on, his vision went south because of bad cataracts, and went completely blind after the English occultist John Taylor attempted to treat him. John Taylor also cared for J.S. Bach, who went blind too. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Handel remained optimistic, and kept his sense of humor about him. He was always charitable, and became quite close with the Foundling Hospital, which continued to host annual benefit performances of his Messiah. It was during this time, that he created some of the most enchanting music ever written. He died on April 14th, 1759 at the age of 74. He was buried in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey. Handel is most notably recognized for his works Messiah and Water Music, but listeners have recently become

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