George Frederic Handel Presented by Shaun Oaks Overview • I have chosen to present on Handel because I grew up listening to his music, particularly at Christmas time • Biography is organized as follows: ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Handel’s upbringing Handel’s time in Italy Handel’s time in England Handel’s death Handel’s Upbringing • Born February 24, 1685 in Germany • Began composing music at the age of 9! • His father wanted him to be a lawyer and sent him to law school • In 1703, Handel left law school and become a violinist in the local opera house • Composed his first opera, Almira, in 1705 Handel Abroad • Began his studies abroad in Italy (1707-1709) • Created 2 operas while in Florence, Rodrigo and Agrippina • Created 2 oratorios while in Rome, La Rsurrezione and Il Trionfo del Tempo • Became the Kapellmeister to George I of England • Many would say Handel matured as a musician in Italy, but created his best work in England Handel Abroad (England) • Went to London in 1710 and was paid 200 pounds a year as Kapellmeister • Composed his famous opera, Rinaldo, in 1711 • In 1720, Handel was appointed the head of the Royal Academy of Music • Handel stayed to true to the Italian opera, as opposed to the English opera and the Opera of Nobility was created to contend with Handel • In 1737, Handel’s opera house went bankrupt due to the competition with the Opera of Nobility Handel Abroad (England cont.) • In 1741, Handel’s last opera, Deidamia, was performed • Handel then turned to religious music and wrote the Messiah in Dublin in 1742 • While on a trip to Italy in 1751, he began to go blind • Played his last oratorio, Jeptha, in Italy in 1751 • Handel died in London on April 14, 1759 • He is now buried in the poet’s corner at Westminster Abbey Summary • Handel composed 20 oratorios, 40 operas, and composed the Messiah • Learning more about Handel has given me greater respect and appreciation for his work Music for the Royal Fireworks: Ouverture • Written for the royal fireworks display to celebrate the end of the war of the Austrian Succession in 1748 • King George was very particular about the music and requested that there be no string instruments • This was difficult for Handel, but he composed a special part for the millitary brass band Music for the Royal Fireworks: Overture Cont. • Handel was not able to reveal his masterpiece as planned ▫ April 27, 1748, the night of the fireworks, a pavilion burned down and the fireworks were a disaster • Handel first unveiled his masterpiece for a charity event at the Founding Hospital of London • It is still considered one of the most favorite pieces of music composed by Handel Messiah: Glory to God • Handel wrote the Messiah in Dublin, Ireland in 1741 • The Messiah was composed in a remarkably short amount of time ▫ Received the text from Jennen’s on the August 22nd ▫ Believed that he completed the outline by August 28th ▫ It was production ready by September 14, 1741 Messiah: Glory to God • On the last page, Handel wrote SDG, meaning To God alone the glory • Though the Messiah was finished, it was not featured in the next two concert series containing Handel’s works • The Messiah was finally shared with the world on April 13, 1742 in Dublin • 700 were in attendance at its premiere and it was a huge success Listening Guide: Overture • The piece begins very strong, with impressive harmony of the brass instruments • Strong trumpet solo slows down the rhythm • There are simple repetitions of each instrument, adding to the form of the piece, and they continue to be in perfect harmony • Flute solo keeps the tempo and helps to tie the rest of the instruments together Listening Guide: Overture Cont. • The rhythm speeds up and there is a strong dynamic • There is good contrast between the trumpets and the bass and the rhythm speeds up. The timbre is rich • Handel strategically placed instruments to get the sound he wanted • Strings slow down the rhythm. The texture is rich and sounds pleasant. Listening Guide: Overture Cont. • Brass instruments play short notes, keeping the rhythm fast, while the strings do longer notes • Rhythm slows and creates a nice contrast and different texture then previously heard • Rhythm speeds back up, timbre between the brass and the bass is different and distinct • Left and right set of brass section play 3 second repetitions, while middle keeps the rhythm and adds texture • Final melody is played with a strong ending fading into silence Listening Guide: Glory to God • Soft rapid violins and blends with a woman singing to create a nice harmony • Violins slow and choir comes in singing creating a nice dynamic and harmony • Bass comes in and rhythm slows to about twice as fast. • Male and female singers as well as violinists combine to form a nice contrast Listening Guide: Glory to God Cont. • Melody shines through as violins join together • Melody is repeated one last time and the rhythm changes to slower and softer, eventually ending in silence. Bibliography • allegrobaroque. allegrobaroque.org. 16 July 2011 <http://www.allegrobaroque.org/index.php?page=fireworks_history>. • anotherthink. anotherthink.com. 15 July 2011 <http://www.anotherthink.com/contents/movies_books_music/20051218_handels _messiah_a_brief_history.html>. • Bowl, Hollywood. Hollywood-Bowl. 15 July 2011 <http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/philpedia/piece-detail.cfm?id=2730>ClassicalMusic-Opera.com. Classical-Music-Opera.com. 15 July 2011 <http://classical-musicopera.com/george-frederic-handel/history-timeline.html>. • Estrella, Espie. about.com. 16 July 2011 <http://musiced.about.com/od/baroque/p/handel.htm>. • Kandell, Jonathan. Smithsonian magazine, December 2009. 16 July 2011 <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Glorious-History-of-HandelsMessiah.html>. • MUSICIANS, BAROQUE COMPOSERS AND. BAROQUE COMPOSERS AND MUSICIANS. 15 July 2011 <http://www.baroquemusic.org/bqxhandel.html>. • notes, 8. 8notes.com. 15 July 2011 <http://www.8notes.com/biographies/handel.asp>.