This Essay Discusses Why Handel Was A Baroque Musician As Opposed To An Enlightened Or Classical Musician In The Form Of A Letter.

1270 words - 5 pages

To whom it may concern:As thou knowest, the period of the Enlightenment was such an extraordinary and important era. Thou dost not want to accept just any old person into thy International Enlightenment Society. Though I am sure George Frederic Handel was the first on thy list due to his great attributes and style in the music field, he may be better off joining the International Baroque Society. His powerful music has made "...a King stand during one of [his] performances", but this is due more to the powerful contrasting sounds and dramatic climaxes in his music which thou might find in baroque style music, than to the balanced and restrained music of the classical era. Creating over 612 pieces throughout his lifetime, Handel hast become the second most powerful Baroque musician underneath Bach. His music caused Queen Anne to pay him a 200-pound pension per year for the rest of his life, with King George raising that to 600 pounds because Handel composed the famous Water Music suite for him. The Royal Academy of Music along with the Garden Royal Opera House accepted Handel willingly into their hospitality, allowing him to write and play his songs hither. While working at the Covent Garden Royal Opera House, Handel realized that the popularity of the Italian opera was declining, so he created a new genre of dramatic oratorios, which was the most original contribution to the art of music. Not only are the government and royalty affected by his music, but the people are as well, vice versa.Handel created over 612 pieces during his lifetime, all of these expressing some form of the Baroque era. Handel's Messiah and several others come together to form the Bible and Jesus' life, composed of different lines from chapters in the Old and New Testaments. "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:14 and "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29, which express Handel's belief in the importance of God and religion in the peoples' lives. Almost all of his song lyrics are from the Old and New Testaments. Oratorios, which are narratives of Biblical events, were used quite often by Handel as well. He liked playing music intensely as well, switching tones and volumes frequently causing a more dramatic sound. Other religious songs are In the Lord put I my trust, Let God arise, Let thy hand be strengthened, and O be joyful in the Lord. He also composed songs for hymns and played songs in different churches around Europe, becoming Kapellmeister at one point.Generally, the Enlightenment and classicism are characterized as a time when music was orderly, restrained and conforming to models and rules of the era, reflecting back to Greek times. During the Enlightenment, people tried to move away from the influences of the church and government, while the baroque era was quite the opposite when it comes to music. As I mentioned earlier, Handel's Messiah and several others discuss the life of Christ,...

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