Handel reworked his Acis and Galatea which then became his most successful work ever. Shortly after commencing his university education, Handel though Lutheran [o] on 13 March accepted the position of organist at the Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, the Domkirche, replacing J.
Discover more artists
Perhaps to fulfill a promise to his father or simply because he saw himself as "dedicated to the liberal arts," on 10 February Handel matriculated at the University of Halle. A firm Lutheran, he nevertheless strongly advocated the separation of church and state, famously denouncing the witch trials then prevalent. Lang believes that Thomasius instilled in Handel a "respect for the dignity and freedom of man's mind and the solemn majesty of the law," principles that would have drawn him to and kept him in England for half a century.
The orphanage he founded became a model for Germany, and undoubtedly influenced Handel's own charitable impulse, when he assigned the rights of Messiah to London's Foundling Hospital.
Shortly after commencing his university education, Handel though Lutheran [o] on 13 March accepted the position of organist at the Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, the Domkirche, replacing J. Leporin, for whom he had acted as assistant.
From it he received 5 thalers a year and lodgings in the run-down castle of Moritzburg. Around this same time Handel made the acquaintance of Telemann. Four years Handel's senior, Telemann was studying law and assisting cantor Johann Kuhnau Bach 's predecessor at the Thomaskirche there. Telemann recalled forty years later in an autobiography for Mattheson's Grundlage: Although Mainwaring records that Handel wrote weekly when assistant to Zachow and as probationary organist at Domkirche part of his duty was to provide suitable music, [p] no sacred compositions from his Halle period can now be identified.
Early chamber works do exist, but it is difficult to date any of them to Handel's time in Halle. Many historians until recently followed Chrysander and designated the six trio sonatas for two oboes and basso continuo as his first known composition, supposedly written in when Handel was Lang writes that the works "show thorough acquaintance with the distilled sonata style of the Corelli school " and are notable for "the formal security and the cleanness of the texture.
Handel's probationary appointment to Domkirche expired in March By July [q] Handel was in Hamburg. Since he left no explanation for the move [r] biographers have offered their own speculation. Burrows believes that the answer can be found by untangling Mainwaring's confused chronology of the trip to Berlin. Burrows dates this trip to or after his father's death and concluded that since Handel through a "friend and relation" at the Berlin court turned down Frederick's offer to subsidize his musical education in Italy with the implicit understanding that he would become a court musician on his return , Handel was no longer able to expect preferment whether as musician, lawyer or otherwise within Brandenburg-Prussia.
And since he was attracted to secular, dramatic music by meeting the Italians Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti and through the influence of Telemann , Hamburg, a free city with an established opera company, was the logical choice. Lang suggests that, influenced by the teachings of Thomasius, Handel's character was such that he was unable to make himself subservient to anyone, even a king. Lang sees Handel as someone who could not accept class distinctions that required him to regard himself as a social inferior.
In he accepted a position as violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of the Hamburg Oper am Gänsemarkt. His first two operas, Almira and Nero , were produced in It is unclear whether Handel directed these performances. According to Mainwaring, in Handel travelled to Italy at the invitation of Ferdinando de' Medici. De' Medici, who had a keen interest in opera, was trying to make Florence Italy's musical capital by attracting the leading talents of his day. In Italy Handel met librettist Antonio Salvi , with whom he later collaborated.
Handel left for Rome and, since opera was temporarily banned in the Papal States , composed sacred music for the Roman clergy. His famous Dixit Dominus is from this era. He also composed cantatas in pastoral style for musical gatherings in the palaces of cardinals Pietro Ottoboni , Benedetto Pamphili and Carlo Colonna. Two oratorios , La resurrezione and Il trionfo del tempo , were produced in a private setting for Ruspoli and Ottoboni in and , respectively. Rodrigo , his first all-Italian opera, was produced in the Cocomero theatre in Florence in The opera, with a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani , ran for 27 nights successively.
With his opera Rinaldo , based on La Gerusalemme Liberata by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso , Handel enjoyed great success, although it was composed quickly, with many borrowings from his older Italian works. In , Handel decided to settle permanently in England. One of his most important patrons was The 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork , a young and extremely wealthy member of an Anglo-Irish aristocratic family. The conception of an opera as a coherent structure was slow to capture Handel's imagination  and he composed no operas for five years.
It is said the compositions spurred reconciliation between the King, supposedly annoyed by the composer's abandonment of his Hanover post, and Handel. In Handel became house composer at Cannons in Middlesex , where he laid the cornerstone for his future choral compositions in the twelve Chandos Anthems. Winton Dean wrote, "the music catches breath and disturbs the memory".
In the Duke of Chandos became one of the composer's important patrons and main subscribers to his new opera company, the Royal Academy of Music , but his patronage declined after Chandos lost money in the South Sea bubble , which burst in in one of history's greatest financial cataclysms. Handel himself invested in South Sea stock in , when prices were low  and sold before He saw Teofane by Antonio Lotti , and engaged members of the cast for the Royal Academy of Music, founded by a group of aristocrats to assure themselves a constant supply of baroque opera or opera seria.
Handel may have invited John Smith, his fellow student in Halle, and his son Johann Christoph Schmidt , to become his secretary and amanuensis. Handel's operas are filled with da capo arias , such as Svegliatevi nel core.
After composing Silete venti , he concentrated on opera and stopped writing cantatas. Scipio , from which the regimental slow march of the British Grenadier Guards is derived,  was performed as a stopgap, waiting for the arrival of Faustina Bordoni. One of these, Zadok the Priest , has been played at every British coronation ceremony since. The Queen's Theatre at the Haymarket now Her Majesty's Theatre , established in by architect and playwright John Vanbrugh , quickly became an opera house.
Handel travelled to Italy to engage new singers and also composed seven more operas, among them the comic masterpiece Partenope and the "magic" opera Orlando. Handel reworked his Acis and Galatea which then became his most successful work ever.
Handel failed to compete with the Opera of the Nobility , who engaged musicians such as Johann Adolph Hasse , Nicolo Porpora and the famous castrato Farinelli. The strong support by Frederick, Prince of Wales caused conflicts in the royal family. Despite the problems the Opera of the Nobility was causing him at the time, Handel's neighbour in Brook Street, Mary Delany , reported on a party she invited Handel to at her house on 12 April where he was in good spirits:.
I had Lady Rich and her daughter, Lady Cath. Hanmer and her husband, Mr. Percival, Sir John Stanley and my brother, Mrs.
Donellan, Strada [star soprano of Handel's operas] and Mr. Lord Shaftesbury begged of Mr. Percival to bring him, and being a profess'd friend of Mr. Handel who was here also was admitted; I never was so well entertained at an opera! Handel was in the best humour in the world, and played lessons and accompanied Strada and all the ladies that sang from seven o'clock till eleven.
I gave them tea and coffee, and about half an hour after nine had a salver brought in of chocolate, mulled white wine and biscuits. Everybody was easy and seemed pleased. In the Earl of Essex received a letter with the following sentence: The board of chief investors expected Handel to retire when his contract ended, but Handel immediately looked for another theatre. Rich was renowned for his spectacular productions.
He suggested Handel use his small chorus and introduce the dancing of Marie Sallé , for whom Handel composed Terpsicore. In he introduced organ concertos between the acts. For the first time Handel allowed Gioacchino Conti , who had no time to learn his part, to substitute arias.
In April , at age 52, Handel apparently suffered a stroke which disabled the use of four fingers on his right hand, preventing him from performing.
Nobody expected that Handel would ever be able to perform again. But whether the affliction was rheumatism, a stroke or a nervous breakdown, he recovered remarkably quickly. During six weeks he took long hot baths, and ended up playing the organ for a surprised audience. Deidamia , his last opera, a co-production with the Earl of Holderness ,  was performed three times in Handel gave up the opera business, while he enjoyed more success with his English oratorios.
Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno , an allegory , Handel's first oratorio  was composed in Italy in , followed by La resurrezione in which uses material from the Bible. The circumstances of Esther and its first performance, possibly in , are obscure. Next came Deborah , strongly coloured by the coronation anthems  and Athaliah , his first English Oratorio. It is evident how much he learned from Arcangelo Corelli about writing for instruments, and from Alessandro Scarlatti about writing for the solo voice; but there is no single composer who taught him how to write for chorus.
The most significant reason for this change was the dwindling financial returns from his operas. The performances were given without costumes and action; the singers appeared in their own clothes. In Handel produced Alexander's Feast. John Beard appeared for the first time as one of Handel's principal singers and became Handel's permanent tenor soloist for the rest of Handel's life.
In Saul , Handel was collaborating with Charles Jennens and experimenting with three trombones, a carillon and extra-large military kettledrums from the Tower of London , to be sure " In his next works Handel changed his course. In these works he laid greater stress on the effects of orchestra and soloists; the chorus retired into the background.
During the summer of , The 3rd Duke of Devonshire invited Handel to Dublin , capital of the Kingdom of Ireland , to give concerts for the benefit of local hospitals. In Handel wrote his oratorio Alexander Balus. He strikes the golden lyre , Handel wrote the accompaniment for mandolin , harp , violin , viola , and violoncello. The use of English soloists reached its height at the first performance of Samson. The work is highly theatrical. The role of the chorus became increasingly important in his later oratorios.
Jephtha was first performed on 26 February ; even though it was his last oratorio, it was no less a masterpiece than his earlier works. In Handel composed Music for the Royal Fireworks ; 12, people attended the first performance.
The performance was considered a great success and was followed by annual concerts that continued throughout his life. In recognition of his patronage, Handel was made a governor of the Hospital the day after his initial concert. He bequeathed a copy of Messiah to the institution upon his death.
In addition to the Foundling Hospital, Handel also gave to a charity that assisted impoverished musicians and their families.
In August , on a journey back from Germany to London, Handel was seriously injured in a carriage accident between The Hague and Haarlem in the Netherlands. The cause was a cataract which was operated on by the great charlatan Chevalier Taylor.
This did not improve his eyesight, but possibly made it worse. He died in at home in Brook Street, at age The last performance he attended was of Messiah.
Handel was buried in Westminster Abbey. Handel never married, and kept his personal life private. His initial will bequeathed the bulk of his estate to his niece Johanna, however four codicils distributed much of his estate to other relations, servants, friends and charities. Handel owned an art collection that was auctioned posthumously in Handel's compositions include 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, a large number of ecumenical pieces, odes and serenatas, and 16 organ concerti.
His most famous work, the oratorio Messiah with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become the centrepiece of the Christmas season. The Lobkowicz Palace in Prague holds Mozart's copy of Messiah , complete with handwritten annotations. Among the works with opus numbers published and popularised in his lifetime are the Organ Concertos Op. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.
Handel introduced previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: Cecilia's Day , three trombones Saul , clarinets or small high cornetts Tamerlano , theorbo , French horn Water Music , lyrichord, double bassoon , viola da gamba , carillon bell chimes , positive organ , and harp Giulio Cesare , Alexander's Feast. The first published catalogue of Handel's works appeared as an appendix to Mainwaring's Memoirs.
The volume Händel-Gesellschaft "Handel Society" edition was published between and — mainly due to the efforts of Friedrich Chrysander. For modern performance, the realisation of the basso continuo reflects 19th century practice. Vocal scores drawn from the edition were published by Novello in London, but some scores, such as the vocal score to Samson , are incomplete. It did not start as a critical edition, but after heavy criticism of the first volumes, which were performing editions without a critical apparatus for example, the opera Serse was published with the title character recast as a tenor, reflecting pre-war German practice , it repositioned itself as a critical edition.
Influenced in part by cold-war realities, editorial work was inconsistent: The "Argument" to the opera provides the context of the events that precede the opera. Basilio, Teofane's brother, had been driven into exile by a usurper.
However, Basilio had become a pirate during his exile, and took on the name of Emireno. Gismonda's dream is to see her son Adelberto on the throne of Italy.
Pur chi regni il figlio amato. When Adelberto comes to her, she informs him of her scheme to bring this to pass. Her deceased husband had ruled Italy illegally as the country was really a possession of the German King Ottone, who is now on the way to reclaim the territory and to marry Teofane, daughter of the Byzantine emperor, who is already in Rome and has been sent a portrait of her bridegroom-to-be, which has caused her to look forward to her marriage with delight.
However Ottone has been delayed in his journey to Rome by an attack on his convoy of ships by pirates, necessitating a battle at sea. Gismonda instructs her son to present himself to Teofane as her bridegroom, and then marry her, pretending to be Ottone.
Adelberto thinks this is a very clever plan and Gismonda joyfully anticipates her son's success. Teofane comes to meet, as she believes, her husband-to-be Ottone, and when Adelberto greets her, pretending to be Ottone, she cannot understand why he looks nothing like the handsome and noble young man she had imagined from the miniature portrait she had been sent and carries with her in a locket.
Left alone, she accuses the portrait of cruelly misleading her Aria: The true Ottone has arrived to claim his rightful kingdom and his bride, and has defeated the pirate Emireno, who is brought before him in chains.
Emireno hints that he is really someone very mighty but refuses to reveal his true identity and is led away. Del minacciar del vento. Ottone is now greeted by his enraged cousin Princess Matilda, who was officially engaged to Adelberto and is furious that he now proposes to marry Teofane instead. She informs Ottone that Gismonda and Adelberto are scheming against him.
Ottone hopes that Teofane can still be his despite this Aria: Ritorna, o dolce amore. Matilda, alone, yearns for revenge against Adelberto for his jilting of her Aria: Since her son Adelberto is now posing as Ottone, Gismonda poses as Ottone's mother Adelaide in a meeting with Teofane.
Pensa ad amare , and leaves. Adelberto comes to lead Teofane to their wedding, but his mother reappears with the news that Ottone is invading with an army, thrusts a sword into her son's hand and sends him off to battle. Left alone, Teofane now realises that Adelberto is only pretending to be Ottone, and laments the position in which she finds herself Aria: A sinfonia is played as an onstage battle shows the defeat of Adelberto's army and his capture by Ottone's forces.
Adelberto is led away, defiant but in chains Aria: Alone, Ottone is still hopeful of winning Teofane and the kingdom and ruling in peace, extending justice to all Aria: On his way to prison, Adelberto is encountered by Matilda, who tells him he should never have accepted being engaged to her if he really loved Teofane instead.
They are joined by Gismonda, who reproaches her son for being defeated in battle by Ottone. Adelberto hopes that he will learn fidelity from Matilda's example, and is led away Aria: Lascia, che nel suo viso. Matilda and Gismonda are both distraught at Adelberto's defeat and imprisonment. Matilda thinks they should beg Ottone for mercy, but Gismonda would prefer that she and her son both be put to death rather than thus abase themselves.
Matilda says she will not allow that to happen, Adelberto must be freed Aria: When alone, Gismonda admits to herself that she too feels pity for her son and longs to console him in his distress Aria: Vieni, o figlio, e mi consola.
Teofane and Ottone are about to meet face to face for the first time, both looking forward to this, but Matilda suddenly appears and throws herself at Ottone's feet, begging him for mercy for Adelberto. Teofane withdraws into an alcove and watches as Ottone declines to pardon Adelberto but embraces Matilda in an attempt to console her.
Teofane misinterprets this gesture as a sign that Ottone is in love with Matilda. In any case, the embrace does nothing to cool Matilda; she fulminates against Ottone for his refusal to show clemency to Adelberto, calling on monsters and furies to pursue him Aria: When Teofane and Ottone finally meet, she accuses him of falsely pretending he is not in love with another Aria: Alla fama, dimmi il vero and, once on his own, Ottone prays that this storm will subside Aria: A delightful garden by the Tiber with springs and caves, and an underground passage closed by a stone.
Teofane walks dejectedly in the garden, feeling utterly alone Aria: Emireno and Adelberto emerge from the tunnel, pushing the stone aside. They have escaped from prison with the help of a map sent to them by Matilda. Emireno looks forward to freedom and to vanquishing the enemies who have wronged him Aria: Emireno goes to find the boat Matilda has told him will be waiting, and Matilda herself, then Ottone arrive, Matilda looking for the tunnel and Ottone in search of Teofane.
Adelberto and Teofane conceal themselves as Matilda guides Ottone away, telling him it is not safe for him to wander around at night alone. Ottone is more concerned about Teofane than himself Aria: Emireno has found the boat and returns, and Adelberto seizes Teofane, who swoons as he carries her into the boat and rows her away, together with Emireno and some of their men.
Gismonda joins Matilda in the garden; they celebrate the night that saw the success of their plan to free Adelberto Duet: Ottone is desolate that Teofane has vanished Aria: Dove sei, dolce mia vita. Gismonda comes to him and gloats that her son has escaped Aria: Ottone feels betrayed and abandoned by everyone Aria: After a brief orchestral sinfonia, Adelberto, Emireno and Teofane appear with their guards.
Their escape has been stalled by a sudden squall that has blown up. Adelberto hopes both for better weather and for Teofane's love Aria: He leaves to look for a dwelling where they can take refuge from the storm. At this, Emireno attempts to embrace her, and Teofane, as well as Adelberto who returns just as this takes place, misinterpret the action as an attempt at seduction. Adelberto attacks Emireno but the guards seize him.
Teofane is distraught and asks the guards to kill her, death will be a release Aria: