Musician Profile Essay

659 WordsOct 21, 20133 Pages
Musician Profile Essay There were many great musical composers that influenced modern society. Among these is George Frederick Handel, famous for his pieces Hallelujah, water music and many others. Handel wrote pieces that were loved by everyone and treasured by other composers as well, such as Beethoven. Handel was born in the German city of Halle on February 23, 1685. His father noted but did not nurture his musical talent, and he had to sneak a small keyboard instrument into his attic to practice. As a child he studied music with Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, organist at the Liebfrauenkirche, and for a time he seemed that he would become a church organist himself. After studying law at the University of Halle, Handel began serving as an organist on March 13, 1702, at the Domkirche. Not satisfied, he became a violinist in the Hamburg opera orchestra in 1703, and his frustration was shown when he fought a duel the following year with the composer Matheson over the accompaniment to one of Matheson's operas. In 1706 Handel went to Italy, then the font of operatic innovation, and mastered contemporary trends in Italian serious opera. He returned to Germany to become court composer in Hannover, whose rulers were linked by family ties with the British throne; his patron there, the Elector of Hannover, became King George I of England. English audiences took to his 1711 opera Rinaldo, and several years later Handel went to move to England permanently. He impressed King George early on with the Water Music of 1716, written as entertainment for a royal boat outing. Through the 1720s Handel composed Italian operatic masterpieces for London stages: Ottone, Serse (Xerxes), and other works often based on classical stories. His popularity was dented, though, by new English-language works of a less formal character, and in the 1730s and 1740s Handel turned to the oratorio, a

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