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Thread: Georg Friedrich Händel

  1. #16
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    What do you think of those Leporello?
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

  2. #17
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
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    I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Because of medical issues, I've been offline for this week. So once again, sorry for the delay. I am surprised to not see others chime in!

    Thank you so much for sharing these choruses! I have enjoyed listening to them, very nice music, and as you said, the 3 groups of people are indeed sharply contrasted.

    Somehow, the development and characterization of the drama in these works seems very different from what I am more used to in later opera (Mozart and onwards), and I would like to explore it more soon. I hope I can find some of these works at my local library.

  3. #18
    Member Amy's Avatar
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    Red face

    I think it is difficult to try and compare composers from such different eras, as those from which Mozart and Handel originate. It is almost like asking someone which is 'better', red or blue? There is no reason why one ought to be superior, it is all just a matter of opinion. As I owe Handel my appreciation for 'classical' music, I know that I will always hold him in highest regard, and I must say that even now when I hear his water music I am taken back to my fourteen year old self who was taken aback in naive wonder when hearing this for the first time. It was about this time that I got my first e-mail account and it still remains handels_messiah@hotmail.com. I think to a certain degree his delicacy appeals to the listener on a personal level, and I'm not sure that if my first experience of 'classical' music had been Berlioz' symphony fantastic or one of the greater Mahler symphonies that I would have been able to Handel it (lol, apalling pun, I know).
    Personally, I find a lot of that all that Baroque pretty flimsy and repetitive. And all those twanging harpsichords get on my nerves too. I'm sure a lot of it could be produced by an electronic synthesiser set on random mode, and sound better.
    In regard to this, Mango, my mother would most certainly agree with you, and when I was living at home harpsichords were actually banned, along with shawms and crumhorns! However, even though I adore most of the later romantics, hearing the sweet delicacy of a harpsichord always gives me a certain thrill. Handel brings about this thrill in me in a more intense way than any other Baroque composer (with the possible exception of Bach) and I thoroughly agree with Handel (as in poster of this discussion, not George Frederich, though I'm sure he would say the same ) that the composer uses emotion to a higher degree than any of his contemporaries. What could be regarded as flimsy and repetitive could also be regarded as structured and well organised. As a matter of fact, it is the variation in Handel's Coranation Anthem's that appeal to me so much, and though I admit that some Baroque composers use similar themes in many of their pieces, I must exepmt Handel from this, as he has that rare ability to infuse a different flavour into each piece he writes

  4. #19
    Member Andrew's Avatar
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    In my opinion Händel had the rare capability to express very much using only a few notes. When you see the score it often looks simple, but when you hear it, the secret of his music starts to affect the listener and his feelings. It's difficult to explain. As Beethoven said (Handel just quoted this): "Go to him to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means."

    Long ago one of the first LP's I owned was a recording of Händel's "Water Music" and "Music for the Royal Fireworks". I listened to this music very, very, very often and never was bored. Even today, after more than 30 years, I can listen to it with pleasure and without being bored. So there is a good reason to be in doubt that a synthesizer set to radom mode could do the same.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    Indeed. For example, Beethoven loved how the funeral march in Saul was so simple but emotionnally intense at the same time.
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

  6. #21
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    All wise words. As a composer of vocal music in particular, G F Handel is unsurpassed. As already has been said, his sheer efficiency with notes is unparalleled.


    Last edited by Krummhorn; Oct-03-2007 at 19:28. Reason: sig url link deleted

  7. #22
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    Yep, he was a musical businessman.
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    Yep, he was a musical businessman.
    True, a collector of fine art too. I think he died with about £20,000 in the Bank, a huge sum in those days, an impossible sum for the average composer. I'll check this figure though.




    Last edited by Krummhorn; Oct-03-2007 at 19:28. Reason: sig url link deleted

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    Yep, he was a musical businessman.
    Yes, and those that are successful these days have to be business people too. Unfortunate.

  10. #25
    Reiner Torheit
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    It was a convention of the era not to have big ensemble numbers in operas.

    However, towards the end of his operatic career Handel increasingly rewrote the rules. For example in ARIODANTE he introduced French-style ballets which formed an essential part of the plot... e.g. "Ginevra's nightmare"

    But he was also playing with larger-scale ensembles. Take the opening of SERSE, in which Romilda is being pursued by two rival lovers... the King (Serse) and the King's own brother, Arsamenes. Romilda is supposed to be singing a solo song at a Pleasure Garden, but she's continuously interrupted by both of her lovers, in a nice comic moment. Arsamenese even has his servant with him, who makes the situation worse by telling his master - loudly - to be quiet during the singing As well as all of this, the brothers are hiding from each other and each is pretending he isn't there - so the production scope for having them hiding in the undergrowth at the Pleasure Garden is quite generous

    In addition to GIULIO CESARE and ALCINA (already recommended, and quite right too!) I would strongly recommend the music of ARIODANTE (perhaps his most advanced opera score?) and SERSE (for sheer amusement and enjoyment).

    Here's Anne-Sofie von Otter as Ariodante... he's been cheated out of the succession to the throne, and been convinced that his fiancee has been sleeping around. He throws himself into the sea, but he doesn't die... he comes-to on a deserted beach in Scotland, and realises that everyone he knows has cheated or lied to him... and he sings this...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FngWzmxK0z8

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