Handel's Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

George Frideric Handel: George Frideric Handel, German-born English composer of the late Baroque era, noted particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions. He wrote the most famous of all oratorios, Messiah, and is also known for such occasional pieces as Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks.

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Shoppingturismen i Sverige har ökat stort, enligt siffror från Svensk Handel. Det är särskilt utländska besökare som shoppar loss när de är i Sverige, medan svenskar som turistar i hemlandet lägger en mindre del av reskassan på konsumtion.

Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist Winton Dean writes that his operas show that "Handel was not only a great composer; he was a dramatic genius of the first order. After his success with Messiah he never composed an Italian opera again. Almost blind, and having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in , a respected and rich man. His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti , Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Messiah , Water Music , and Music for the Royal Fireworks remaining steadfastly popular.

Another of his English oratorios, Solomon , has also remained popular, with the Sinfonia that opens act 3 known more commonly as "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" featuring at the London Olympics opening ceremony.

Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late s, with the revival of baroque music and historically informed musical performance , interest in Handel's operas has grown.

Georg Händel —97 was the son of a coppersmith, Valentin Händel, who had emigrated from Eisleben in with his first wife Anna Belching, the daughter of a master coppersmith. They were Protestants and chose reliably Protestant Saxony over Silesia , a Hapsburg possession, as religious tensions mounted in the years before the Thirty Years War. The arts and music, however, flourished only among the higher strata not only in Halle but throughout Germany , [15] of which Handel's family was not a member.

Georg Händel senior was born at the beginning of the war, and was apprenticed to a barber in Halle at the age of 14, after his father died. With this, Georg determinedly began the process of becoming self-made; by dint of his "conservative, steady, thrifty, unadventurous" lifestyle, [16] he guided the five children he had with Anna who reached adulthood into the medical profession except his youngest daughter, who married a government official. Bartholomew in Giebichtenstein, [18] who himself came from a long line of Lutheran pastors.

Mainwaring is the source for almost all information little as it is of Handel's childhood, and much of that information came from J. Mainwaring writes that Georg Händel was "alarmed" at Handel's very early propensity for music, [h] "took every measure to oppose it", including forbidding any musical instrument in the house and preventing Handel from going to any house where they might be found. Mainwaring tells the story of Handel's secret attic spinet: Handel "found means to get a little clavichord privately convey'd to a room at the top of the house.

To this room he constantly stole when the family was asleep". Sometime between the ages of seven and nine, Handel accompanied his father to Weissenfels where he came under the notice of one whom Handel thereafter always regarded throughout life as his benefactor, [30] Duke Johann Adolf I.

Zachow would be the only teacher that Handel ever had. With respect to instruction in composition, in addition to having Handel apply himself to traditional fugue and cantus firmus work, Zachow, recognizing Handel's precocious talents, systematically introduced Handel to the variety of styles and masterworks contained in his extensive library.

He did this by requiring Handel to copy selected scores. Although it has since disappeared, the notebook has been sufficiently described to understand what pieces Zachow wished Handel to study.

Among the chief composers represented in this exercise book were Johann Krieger , an "old master" in the fugue and prominent organ composer, Johann Caspar Kerll , a representative of the "southern style" after his teacher Frescobaldi and imitated later by Handel, [k] Johann Jakob Froberger , an "internationalist" also closely studied by Buxtehude and Bach , and Georg Muffat , whose amalgam of French and Italian styles and his synthesis of musical forms influenced Handel.

Mainwaring writes that during this time Zachow had begun to have Handel assume some of his church duties. Zachow, Mainwaring asserts, was "often" absent, "from his love of company, and a chearful glass", and Handel therefore performed on organ frequently. Handel's father died on 11 February Mainwaring has Handel traveling to Berlin the next year, Early biographers solved the problem by making the year of the trip , then noting that at the age of 11 Handel would need a guardian, so they have Handel's father or a friend of the family accompany him, all the while puzzling over why the elder Handel, who wanted Handel to become a lawyer, would spend the sum to lead his son further into the temptation of music as a career.

Perhaps to fulfill a promise to his father or simply because he saw himself as "dedicated to the liberal arts," on 10 February Handel matriculated at the University of Halle. A firm Lutheran, he nevertheless strongly advocated the separation of church and state, famously denouncing the witch trials then prevalent. Lang believes that Thomasius instilled in Handel a "respect for the dignity and freedom of man's mind and the solemn majesty of the law," principles that would have drawn him to and kept him in England for half a century.

The orphanage he founded became a model for Germany, and undoubtedly influenced Handel's own charitable impulse, when he assigned the rights of Messiah to London's Foundling Hospital.

Shortly after commencing his university education, Handel though Lutheran [o] on 13 March accepted the position of organist at the Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, the Domkirche, replacing J. Leporin, for whom he had acted as assistant. From it he received 5 thalers a year and lodgings in the run-down castle of Moritzburg. Around this same time Handel made the acquaintance of Telemann. Four years Handel's senior, Telemann was studying law and assisting cantor Johann Kuhnau Bach 's predecessor at the Thomaskirche there.

Telemann recalled forty years later in an autobiography for Mattheson's Grundlage: Although Mainwaring records that Handel wrote weekly when assistant to Zachow and as probationary organist at Domkirche part of his duty was to provide suitable music, [p] no sacred compositions from his Halle period can now be identified.

Early chamber works do exist, but it is difficult to date any of them to Handel's time in Halle. Many historians until recently followed Chrysander and designated the six trio sonatas for two oboes and basso continuo as his first known composition, supposedly written in when Handel was Lang writes that the works "show thorough acquaintance with the distilled sonata style of the Corelli school " and are notable for "the formal security and the cleanness of the texture.

Handel's probationary appointment to Domkirche expired in March By July [q] Handel was in Hamburg. Since he left no explanation for the move [r] biographers have offered their own speculation. Burrows believes that the answer can be found by untangling Mainwaring's confused chronology of the trip to Berlin. Burrows dates this trip to or after his father's death and concluded that since Handel through a "friend and relation" at the Berlin court turned down Frederick's offer to subsidize his musical education in Italy with the implicit understanding that he would become a court musician on his return , Handel was no longer able to expect preferment whether as musician, lawyer or otherwise within Brandenburg-Prussia.

And since he was attracted to secular, dramatic music by meeting the Italians Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti and through the influence of Telemann , Hamburg, a free city with an established opera company, was the logical choice. Lang suggests that, influenced by the teachings of Thomasius, Handel's character was such that he was unable to make himself subservient to anyone, even a king.

Lang sees Handel as someone who could not accept class distinctions that required him to regard himself as a social inferior. In he accepted a position as violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of the Hamburg Oper am Gänsemarkt.

His first two operas, Almira and Nero , were produced in It is unclear whether Handel directed these performances. According to Mainwaring, in Handel travelled to Italy at the invitation of Ferdinando de' Medici. In Italy Handel met librettist Antonio Salvi , with whom he later collaborated.

Handel left for Rome and, since opera was temporarily banned in the Papal States , composed sacred music for the Roman clergy. His famous Dixit Dominus is from this era.

He also composed cantatas in pastoral style for musical gatherings in the palaces of cardinals Pietro Ottoboni , Benedetto Pamphili and Carlo Colonna. Two oratorios , La resurrezione and Il trionfo del tempo , were produced in a private setting for Ruspoli and Ottoboni in and , respectively. Rodrigo , his first all-Italian opera, was produced in the Cocomero theatre in Florence in The opera, with a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani , ran for 27 nights successively.

With his opera Rinaldo , based on La Gerusalemme Liberata by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso , Handel enjoyed great success, although it was composed quickly, with many borrowings from his older Italian works.

In , Handel decided to settle permanently in England. One of his most important patrons was The 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork , a young and extremely wealthy member of an Anglo-Irish aristocratic family. The conception of an opera as a coherent structure was slow to capture Handel's imagination [90] and he composed no operas for five years. It is said the compositions spurred reconciliation between Handel and the King, supposedly annoyed by the composer's abandonment of his Hanover post.

In Handel became house composer at Cannons in Middlesex , where he laid the cornerstone for his future choral compositions in the twelve Chandos Anthems. Winton Dean wrote, "the music catches breath and disturbs the memory". In the Duke of Chandos became one of the composer's important patrons and main subscribers to his new opera company, the Royal Academy of Music , but his patronage declined after Chandos lost money in the South Sea bubble , which burst in in one of history's greatest financial cataclysms.

Handel himself invested in South Sea stock in , when prices were low [95] and sold before He saw Teofane by Antonio Lotti , and engaged members of the cast for the Royal Academy of Music, founded by a group of aristocrats to assure themselves a constant supply of baroque opera or opera seria. Handel may have invited John Smith, his fellow student in Halle, and his son Johann Christoph Schmidt , to become his secretary and amanuensis.

Handel's operas are filled with da capo arias , such as Svegliatevi nel core. After composing Silete venti , he concentrated on opera and stopped writing cantatas. Scipio , from which the regimental slow march of the British Grenadier Guards is derived, [] was performed as a stopgap, waiting for the arrival of Faustina Bordoni. One of these, Zadok the Priest , has been played at every British coronation ceremony since.

The Queen's Theatre at the Haymarket now Her Majesty's Theatre , established in by architect and playwright John Vanbrugh , quickly became an opera house. Handel travelled to Italy to engage new singers and also composed seven more operas, among them the comic masterpiece Partenope and the "magic" opera Orlando.

Handel reworked his Acis and Galatea which then became his most successful work ever. Handel failed to compete with the Opera of the Nobility , who engaged musicians such as Johann Adolph Hasse , Nicolo Porpora and the famous castrato Farinelli. The strong support by Frederick, Prince of Wales caused conflicts in the royal family.

Despite the problems the Opera of the Nobility was causing him at the time, Handel's neighbour in Brook Street, Mary Delany , reported on a party she invited Handel to at her house on 12 April where he was in good spirits:. I had Lady Rich and her daughter, Lady Cath. Hanmer and her husband, Mr.

Percival, Sir John Stanley and my brother, Mrs. Donellan, Strada [star soprano of Handel's operas] and Mr. Lord Shaftesbury begged of Mr. Percival to bring him, and being a profess'd friend of Mr. Handel who was here also was admitted; I never was so well entertained at an opera! Handel was in the best humour in the world, and played lessons and accompanied Strada and all the ladies that sang from seven o'clock till eleven. I gave them tea and coffee, and about half an hour after nine had a salver brought in of chocolate, mulled white wine and biscuits.

Everybody was easy and seemed pleased. In the Earl of Essex received a letter with the following sentence: The board of chief investors expected Handel to retire when his contract ended, but Handel immediately looked for another theatre.

Rich was renowned for his spectacular productions. In he introduced organ concertos between the acts. For the first time Handel allowed Gioacchino Conti , who had no time to learn his part, to substitute arias.

In April , at age 52, Handel apparently suffered a stroke which disabled the use of four fingers on his right hand, preventing him from performing. Nobody expected that Handel would ever be able to perform again. But whether the affliction was rheumatism, a stroke or a nervous breakdown, he recovered remarkably quickly. During six weeks he took long hot baths, and ended up playing the organ for a surprised audience.

Deidamia , his last opera, a co-production with the Earl of Holderness , [] was performed three times in Handel gave up the opera business, while he enjoyed more success with his English oratorios. Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno , an allegory , Handel's first oratorio [] was composed in Italy in , followed by La resurrezione in which uses material from the Bible. The circumstances of Esther and its first performance, possibly in , are obscure. Next came Deborah , strongly coloured by the coronation anthems [] and Athaliah , his first English Oratorio.

It is evident how much he learned from Arcangelo Corelli about writing for instruments, and from Alessandro Scarlatti about writing for the solo voice; but there is no single composer who taught him how to write for chorus. The most significant reason for this change was the dwindling financial returns from his operas. The performances were given without costumes and action; the singers appeared in their own clothes.

In Handel produced Alexander's Feast. John Beard appeared for the first time as one of Handel's principal singers and became Handel's permanent tenor soloist for the rest of Handel's life.

In Saul , Handel was collaborating with Charles Jennens and experimenting with three trombones, a carillon and extra-large military kettledrums from the Tower of London , to be sure " In his next works Handel changed his course. In these works he laid greater stress on the effects of orchestra and soloists; the chorus retired into the background. During the summer of , The 3rd Duke of Devonshire invited Handel to Dublin , capital of the Kingdom of Ireland , to give concerts for the benefit of local hospitals.

In Handel wrote his oratorio Alexander Balus. He strikes the golden lyre , Handel wrote the accompaniment for mandolin , harp , violin , viola , and violoncello. The use of English soloists reached its height at the first performance of Samson. The work is highly theatrical. The role of the chorus became increasingly important in his later oratorios. The pastoral interlude that follows begins with the short instrumental movement, the Pifa , which takes its name from the shepherd-bagpipers, or pifferari , who played their pipes in the streets of Rome at Christmas time.

The remainder of Part I is largely carried by the soprano in B flat, in what Burrows terms a rare instance of tonal stability. The second Part begins in G minor, a key which, in Hogwood's phrase, brings a mood of "tragic presentiment" to the long sequence of Passion numbers which follows.

The sense of desolation returns, in what Hogwood calls the "remote and barbarous" key of B flat minor, for the tenor recitative "All they that see him". This, as Young points out, is not the climactic chorus of the work, although one cannot escape its "contagious enthusiasm". Commentators have noted that the musical line for this third subject is based on Wachet auf , Philipp Nicolai 's popular Lutheran chorale. The opening soprano solo in E major, "I know that my Redeemer liveth" is one of the few numbers in the oratorio that has remained unrevised from its original form.

Handel's awkward, repeated stressing of the fourth syllable of "incorruptible" may have been the source of the 18th-century poet William Shenstone 's comment that he "could observe some parts in Messiah wherein Handel's judgements failed him; where the music was not equal, or was even opposite , to what the words required".

The reflective soprano solo "If God be for us" originally written for alto quotes Luther 's chorale Aus tiefer Not. It ushers in the D major choral finale: Many early recordings of individual choruses and arias from Messiah reflect the performance styles then fashionable—large forces, slow tempi and liberal reorchestration. The first near-complete recording of the whole work with the cuts then customary [n 10] was conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham in It represented an effort by Beecham to "provide an interpretation which, in his opinion, was nearer the composer's intentions", with smaller forces and faster tempi than had become traditional.

In the first recording based on Handel's original scoring was conducted by Hermann Scherchen for Nixa , [n 11] quickly followed by a version, judged scholarly at the time, under Sir Adrian Boult for Decca. They inaugurated a new tradition of brisk, small scale performances, with vocal embellishments by the solo singers. By the end of the s the quest for authenticity had extended to the use of period instruments and historically correct styles of playing them.

The first of such versions were conducted by the early music specialists Christopher Hogwood and John Eliot Gardiner The latter employs a chorus of 24 singers and an orchestra of 31 players; Handel is known to have used a chorus of 19 and an orchestra of Several reconstructions of early performances have been recorded: The first published score of , together with Handel's documented adaptations and recompositions of various movements, has been the basis for many performing versions since the composer's lifetime.

Modern performances which seek authenticity tend to be based on one of three 20th-century performing editions. The edition edited by Friedrich Chrysander and Max Seiffert for the Deutsche Händel-Gesellschaft Berlin, is not a general performing edition, but has been used as a basis of scholarship and research.

In addition to Mozart's well-known reorchestration, arrangements for larger orchestral forces exist by Goossens and Andrew Davis ; both have been recorded at least once, on the RCA [] and Chandos [] labels respectively.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Structure of Handel's Messiah. Part I Scene 1: Isaiah's prophecy of salvation 1. Comfort ye my people tenor 3.

Ev'ry valley shall be exalted air for tenor 4. And the glory of the Lord anthem chorus Scene 2: The coming judgment 5. Thus saith the Lord of hosts accompanied recitative for bass 6. But who may abide the day of His coming soprano, alto or bass 7. And he shall purify the sons of Levi chorus Scene 3: The prophecy of Christ's birth 8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive alto 9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion air for alto and chorus For behold, darkness shall cover the earth bass The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light bass For unto us a child is born duet chorus Scene 4: The annunciation to the shepherds There were shepherds abiding in the fields secco recitative for soprano 14b.

And lo, the angel of the Lord accompanied recitative for soprano And the angel said unto them secco recitative for soprano And suddenly there was with the angel accompanied recitative for soprano Glory to God in the highest chorus Scene 5: Christ's healing and redemption Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion soprano Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened secco recitative for soprano or alto His yoke is easy duet chorus Part II Scene 1: Behold the Lamb of God chorus He was despised and rejected of men alto Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows chorus And with his stripes we are healed fugue chorus All we like sheep have gone astray duet chorus All they that see him laugh him to scorn secco recitative for tenor He trusted in God that he would deliver him fugue chorus Thy rebuke hath broken his heart tenor or soprano Behold and see if there be any sorrow tenor or soprano Scene 2: Christ's Death and Resurrection He was cut off tenor or soprano But thou didst not leave his soul in hell tenor or soprano Scene 3: Lift up your heads, O ye gates chorus Scene 4: Christ's reception in Heaven Unto which of the angels tenor Let all the angels of God worship Him chorus Scene 5: The beginnings of Gospel preaching Thou art gone up on high soprano, alto, or bass The Lord gave the word chorus How beautiful are the feet soprano, alto, or chorus Their sound is gone out tenor or chorus Scene 6: The world's rejection of the Gospel Why do the nations so furiously rage together bass Let us break their bonds asunder chorus He that dwelleth in heaven tenor Scene 7: God's ultimate victory Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron tenor The promise of eternal life I know that my Redeemer liveth soprano Since by man came death chorus Scene 2: The Day of Judgment Behold, I tell you a mystery bass The trumpet shall sound bass Scene 3: The final conquest of sin Then shall be brought to pass alto O death, where is thy sting alto and tenor But thanks be to God chorus If God be for us, who can be against us soprano Scene 4: The acclamation of the Messiah Worthy is the Lamb chorus Amen chorus.

Comfort ye my people. The article is absent from the proper title. Ebenezer Prout pointed out that the edition was published as "F. Mozarts Bearbeitung" — "nach" meaning after rather than in Mozart's arrangement. Prout noted that a Mozart edition of another Handel work, Alexander's Feast published in accordance with Mozart's manuscript, was printed as "mit neuer Bearbeitung von W.

Mozart" "with new arrangement by W. Both recordings have appeared on other labels in both LP and CD formats. A copyright-free transfer of the version digitized from original vinyl discs by Nixa Records is available on YouTube: Sadie, Stanley ; Tyrrell, John , eds. Retrieved 20 July Retrieved 15 June Archived from the original on 8 September Retrieved 5 November Retrieved 16 June Retrieved 18 May Irish Arts Review — Gloucester, Three Choirs Festival, 30 July Retrieved 20 May Archived from the original on 13 February The Daily Universal Register.

Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Preface to the New Edition, I". Retrieved 11 June Proceedings of the Musical Association, 30th Session — The New York Times. The Register Adelaide, S. Retrieved 22 May A Theater's Big Experiment". The Really Big Chorus. Retrieved 24 May Richard Hickox, Collegium Music Archived from the original PDF on 21 March Messiah arranged by Mozart ". Retrieved 3 July Röschmann, Gritton, Fink, C.

Retrieved 19 May A History of Jerusalem. Beecham, Sir Thomas Messiah — An Essay. CD Burrows, Donald Grout, Donald ; Palisca, Claude V. A History of Western Music 3rd ed. The Decca Recording Company Ltd. The story of Handel's "Messiah". The Lives and Times of the Great Composers. The Indebtedness of Handel to Works by other Composers. A Study in Interpretation.

Water Music Music for the Royal Fireworks. Retrieved from " https: Pages containing links to subscription-only content CS1: