Introduction To The Composer | George Frederic Handel
George Frederic Handel was born on February 23rd, 1685 in Halle, Germany.
Unlike most composers of his time, Handel did not inherit his desire to be a musician from his family. In fact, music was strongly discouraged and disapproved of. It is said that he would study music alone at night by candlelight.
His father instead urged him to study law, which he did at the University of Halle. This, however, lasted only one year as in 1703 Handel left school to become a violinist in an opera orchestra in Hamburg, Germany.
Best known for his Italian operas and religious oratorios, Handel also produced a number of fine instrumental works such as Water Music and Firework Music, which was composed to accompany a firework display held in London.
Performed in churches all around the world during Christmas and Easter, Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” is the only composition of its time that has been performed continuously since its first appearance.
The most well-known piece today from Messiah is the choral number “Hallelujah Chorus”.
After an unsuccessful, and perhaps very painful, attempt at eye surgery to cure his cataracts, Handel was left blind for the last 7 years of his life. This, however, did not prevent him from continuing to play the organ, or even from composing, as he would dictate compositions to a secretary who would inscribe the music for him.
George Frederic Handel died on April 14th, 1759 in London England.