The Life And Musical Influence Of George Frideric Handel

2025 words - 9 pages

George Frideric Handel was born musically inclined. As a child he was deprived of musical instruments because his father wanted him to pursue the law profession. However, George was allowed to take music lessons from a local organist, by the name of Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau, after Handel had impressed the Duke when he played the organ at the chapel. In his following years, Handel would travel to many places, accepting many different musical occupations. As Handel traveled, he was introduced to many of his musical influences. He wrote operas, oratorios, anthems, secular cantatas, and also wrote scarred music. Throughout his life, Handel would become famous for his compositions, particularly for his English Oratorios, however the most popular ones today include: “Messiah”, “The Water Music”, and “Royal Fireworks.”
George Frideric Handel made an incredible impact on several other well known musical composers. “He has generally been accorded high esteem by fellow composers, both in his own time and since. Bach apparently stated, “ He is the only person I would wish to see before I die, and the only person I would wish to be, were I not Bach.” Mozart is reputed to have said of him, “Handel understands effect better than any of us. When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt,” and to Beethoven he was “the master of us all…the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb.” (Classic Cat, Legacy)
While he was taking lessons with Zachau at the Halle Cathedral, Handel became his assistant organist. He followed his father’s wish for him to study law, however after his father died, Handel quit his unwanted pursuit of the career, and eventually moved to Hamburg, Germany which was a major musical hub. He “played violin in the opera orchestra, directed by the eminent composer Reinhard Keiser.” (Solar Haven, Para. 2) Handel’s stay in Hamburg inspired him to compose two operas for the theater; Handel’s Almira, and Nero, which were both composed in 1705.
After Handel’s stay in Germany, he traveled to Italy from 1706 through 1710 where he met two composers who inspired him to start writing music in the Italian style. These influences include: Archangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti. Handel composed many operas while he stayed in Italy, and also numerous oratorios. “In Florence, Venice, and Rome he became a great success for his church compositions and instrumental music as well as for his operas.” (Mackay, Para. 3) While in Rome, Marquis Francesco Ruspoli, who would later become a prince, gave him a job as a residential musician. During this time of his life, Handel became familiar with the Baroque period musical styles. Opportunities for Handel to meet people of prestigious positions presented themselves while he was in Italy. One person in particular that he became acquainted with was the Duke of Manchester.
In 1710 when Handel traveled to Hanover, Germany, he soon became the director of the choir for George...

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