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Submitted By kobie
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George Frederic Handel
His Life, His Times and His Music

Table of Contents Handel’s Life Handel’s Times Handel’s Music What to listen for in Handel’s music
Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.3, No.2 Organ Concerto in F major, “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale” Water Music Suite Music for the Royal Fireworks “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” Messiah

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www.ArtsAlive.ca

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Handel’s Life
Handel was born in Halle, Germany, on February 23, 1685. He showed interest in music, but was not encouraged to develop it. His father hated music, considering it a pastime that showed weakness of character. He wanted his son to have the financially secure career of a lawyer and therefore wouldn’t allow young Handel to play an instrument. Nevertheless, Handel managed to learn to play the organ and clavichord – a small instrument that resembles a piano. One story suggests that Handel’s sympathetic mother smuggled the clavichord to him in the attic. By covering the strings with cloth, Handel was able to practice every night without being heard by his father. Handel might never have been allowed to practice music openly if it hadn’t been for a duke who heard him play the organ. The duke persuaded Handel’s father to allow him to take music lessons. The young boy’s first music teacher was F.W. Zachau, the organist of the Lutheran Church in Halle. Handel, who was about eight years old, made quick progress under Zachau’s direction, learning the organ, harpsichord and violin, as well as composition, harmony and counterpoint. By the time Handel was 11, Zachau admitted that there was nothing more he could teach his bright pupil. Handel’s father wanted to stop Handel’s musical training at this point. He ordered his son to return immediately from a visit to Berlin. Handel reached his father’s house just in time to be with his 74-yearold-father when he died.…...

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