George Friedrich Handel (1685 – 1759)

As Handel began his study of law, he was appointed as organist at a German Cathedral. He traveled to Italy, where, for a time, he composed sacred music. There, he wrote a number of operas, cantatas and oratorios, gaining some significant fame as a composer. In 1710 he moved to London to become Kapelmeister to King George I of Great Britain and Ireland. There he wrote operas in the Italian style, which was then en vogue, for audiences of aristocrats and royalty. He established three opera companies, but it seemed that his music was secondary in audience appeal to the popularity of the vocalists.

When he was nearly blind, yet within 23 days, he wrote Messiah for the benefit of the Foundling Hospital.

For a BBC documentary in five parts of his life and contributions, see

Hallelujah – Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

Messiah – Amen


Overture from Solomon

Making of Samson

Israel in Egypt — SERAPHIC FIRE



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