George Frideric Handel

(1659-1695)


Country: Germany

George Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685, coincidently the same birth year as Bach and Scarlatti. Subsequently Handel was associated with the British Isles and was well known for his many oratorios, concerti grossi, and operas. He was initially trained in Halle, Germany, where despite his father's supposedly vigorous opposition to musical education, the young Handel attracted the favor of Duke Johann Adolf I and was eventually trained by a local church organist. Handel learnt to play instruments like the harpsichord, organ, and violin - and he had a special affection for the oboe.

After his musical training, Handel worked as a composer in Hamburg and instrumentalist in Germany's first public opera house, the Oper am Gänsemarkt. At the invitation of Ferdinando de' Medici, the eldest son of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, he traveled to Florence and worked for three years in Italy. In 1712 Handel visited London, England and was to spend much of his career in that country - such that he became a naturalized British subject in 1727.

Musically Handel was influenced by the polyphonic choral traditions of middle-Germany, as well the Baroque composers of Italy, such as Arcangelo Corelli. He made substantial contributions to the Italian operatic idiom and to the development of "high baroque" music, he is also credited with creating the English oratorio and organ concerto genres. Handel is also associated with the development of church music in England, and indeed one of his coronation anthems, Zadok the Priest, has accompanied the crowning of every English monarch since 1727.

Free sheet music by George Frideric Handel

Gavotte

He was despised