Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Georg Friedrich Händel

  1. #1
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    Well, there you go, Handel. Now's your chance to tell us all about the achievements of Handel and why he's the business. 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.

    It seems to me that this era of classical music is getting so old-fashioned that its days are numbered. Far nicer is the later "Classical" and Romantic era music, with it's far richer colouration, tones, textures, and moods. I say this having just listened to Mendelssohn's wonderful "Reformation" Symphony on period instruments.
    Actually, I was joking but why not.

    The greatness of Handel can be found if you don't stop at the style of the time. Other composers understood this greatness.

    Some quotes (FWIW) to start

    Mozart said that "Handel understands effect better than any of us -- when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt... though he often saunters, in the manner of his time, this is always something there".

    Haydn: C'est William Shield qui écrit: J'en profitai pour lui demander ce qu'il pensait du choeur "The Nations tremble at the dreadfoul sound" de Josuah. Il me répondit qu'il s'y connaissait depuis longtemps en musique, mais qu'avant d'entendre ce choeur, il n'avait réalisé qu'à moitié la puissance qui pouvait être la sienne et que certainement seul un auteur inspiré avait pu ou pourrait concevoir une oeuvre aussi sublime. (from a Haydn biography)

    Translation: It's William Shield who wrote: I asked to Haydn what he was thinking of the "The Nations tremble at the dreadfoul sound" chorus from Josuah. Haydn said that before listening this chorus, he only realized the half of its the power and that only an inspired author could conceive a sublime work like this one.

    Beethoven: "Go to him to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means" (e.g. Beethoven was amazed by the simplicity/efficacy of Handel's funeral march from Saul).

    These quotes sum the main reasons why I like Handel's music.

    1- Let's begin why the effects. He had great dramatic gifts. He knew how to use them. For the only purpose of the drama, he often went further than the operatic rules would permit. This dramatic sense can even be seen in his instrumental music.

    But more than that, he was a keen psychologist. More than anyone composer during baroque era he develop characters in his operas/oratorios/cantatas who showed nature of human being with his qualities and flaws. His singers were not only high vocal performer (as the public wanted at this time), but characters having real feelings. On this aspect, he was the Mozart of baroque era.

    2- Let's talk about his music's power. Many say that they find Handel too pompous. Even if Handel had to compose official music who could sound pompous, many people lack to understand that what they call pomp can be might. (And it starts to the fact that Handel is still unknown. Many people do not go further than Water Music and Fireworks Music. It easy to judge a compose when you only listen those 2 works)
    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. #2
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    But more than that, he was a keen psychologist. More than anyone composer during baroque era he develop characters in his operas/oratorios/cantatas who showed nature of human being with his qualities and flaws. His singers were not only high vocal performer (as the public wanted at this time), but characters having real feelings. On this aspect, he was the Mozart of baroque era.
    Interesting. This is one aspect of Handel I've been hoping to delve into more to understand more deeply. Now, it may be silly to ask this of someone whose forum handle is "Handel" (no pun intended! ), but, at the risk of asking another quasi-combatative "which composer is best" question, which do you find to be the superior "psychologist", Handel or Mozart? What specific examples are there to investigate which especially highlight Handel's abilities to translate character into music?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    Interesting. This is one aspect of Handel I've been hoping to delve into more to understand more deeply. Now, it may be silly to ask this of someone whose forum handle is "Handel" (no pun intended! ), but, at the risk of asking another quasi-combatative "which composer is best" question, which do you find to be the superior "psychologist", Handel or Mozart? What specific examples are there to investigate which especially highlight Handel's abilities to translate character into music?
    Here is an example of guilt (In Hercules): Dejanira, Hercules's wife, think he has an affair with a princess and give him a "magic" mantle (given to Dejanira by Hercules enemy, Nessus) who would lead Hercule to love his wife. But this mantle kills Hercules instead (Nessus revenge). In a recitative accompagnato, Dejanira feel guilty and become mad about it.

    http://www.box.net/shared/5kz2qe3usn

    Here is the text:
    Where shall I fly? Where hide this guilty head?
    O fatal error of misguided love!
    O cruel Nessus, how art thou reveng'd!
    Wretched I am! By me Alcides dies!
    These impious hands have sent my injur'd lord
    Untimely to the shades! Let me be mad!
    Chain me, ye Furies, to your iron beds,
    And lash my guilty ghost with whips of scorpions!
    See, see, they come! Alecto with her snakes,
    Megaera fell, and black Tisiphone!
    See the dreadful sisters rise,
    Their baneful presence taints the skies!
    See the snaky whips they bear!
    What yellings rend my tortur'd ear!
    Hide me from their hated sight,
    Friendly shades of blackest night!
    Alas, no rest the guilty find
    >From the pursuing furies of the mind!
    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?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Concerning Mozart and Handel, I think Handel could have been as good as Mozart on that matter. However, even if both were keen psychologist of their characters, each has probably field of specialization. Handel was particularly good to depict cheated women.

    Maybe Handel is less musically impressive but he didn't have all the language Mozart could use in his opera.
    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?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Handel, thanks for your post, I'll listen to this example closely the first chance I get.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    And how is it?
    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?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks for posting this file Handel, quite interesting. I really enjoyed the sort of frantic confusion that made its way into this recitative -- that is an emotion I can really identify with when feeling guilty, a sort of gnawing at you that might cause a sudden grip of worry or confusion. I like how that aspect is realized in the music, and I think I may need to start looking more closely at some of these operas.

    Here is another similar question. This example is one in which a single character is fighting with their emotions, and that is depicted in the music. Are there good examples in Handel that you would suggest, in which the particular quirks and timing of a dramatic situation involving several people is translated carefully into music? I am thinking perhaps of something along the vein of what we have some Mozart opera finales. I'm not sure which Handel operas might lend themselves to having that sort of detailed ensemble-work, but that's another sub-category of character psychology in opera I'm quite interested in.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    Here is another similar question. This example is one in which a single character is fighting with their emotions, and that is depicted in the music. Are there good examples in Handel that you would suggest, in which the particular quirks and timing of a dramatic situation involving several people is translated carefully into music? I am thinking perhaps of something along the vein of what we have some Mozart opera finales. I'm not sure which Handel operas might lend themselves to having that sort of detailed ensemble-work, but that's another sub-category of character psychology in opera I'm quite interested in.

    Thanks again.
    Baroque opera rarely present a dramatic action including many characters (e.g. when Don Giovanni goes to hell in the Mozart opera).

    In baroque opera, action is lived during the recitative, not the aris. But Handel went further sometimes. One of the best example IMO is the death scene from Acis and Galatea. While Acis and Galatea are singing their love, the jealous Polyphemus (who loves Galatea) is in rage and eventually kills Acis. It is rare to see such a scene in Handel or any baroque composer production.

    It has a great intensity: http://www.box.net/shared/yjf1i66s7k

    Galatea & Acis
    The flocks shall leave the mountains,
    The woods the turtle dove,
    The nymphs forsake the fountains,
    Ere I forsake my love!

    Polyphemus
    Torture! fury! rage! despair!
    I cannot, cannot bear!

    Galatea & Acis
    Not show'rs to larks so pleasing,
    Nor sunshine to the bee,
    Not sleep to toil so easing,
    As these dear smiles to me.

    Polyphemus
    Fly swift, thou massy ruin, fly!
    Die, presumptuous Acis, die!
    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?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    Baroque opera rarely present a dramatic action including many characters (e.g. when Don Giovanni goes to hell in the Mozart opera).

    In baroque opera, action is lived during the recitative, not the aris.
    This is, too a large extent, also true of late 18th century Classical period operas. Except for the large-scale finales, the action is really all in the recitatives. But when a sequence of events is set to 'music', it's such a different sort of dramatic situation from a solo lamenting aria, it really helps to see a broad range of approaches.

    Thanks for digging up an example! I have heard some from Acis and Galatea, so I feel I must've heard this section before, but I am no long sure. I will listen soon and post back. Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    It is rare to see such a scene in Handel or any baroque composer production.
    Which is probably why I've never gotten into it as much. One of the parts I love most about opera is how different interactions can be represented in music, which is why I've never been a big fan of opera seria. Characters interact during dry recitatives, but not in the music. If you're lucky enough to get a duet or a trio, each character usually sings individually, and when they sing together, it's a love duet, so they sing in 3rds or 6ths. In other words, the characters are not themselves individually distinguished. This is, of course, why I am a great admirer of the late Mozart operas.

    Having said all that, this trio you've posted is absolutely lovely -- the textures and melodic lines are well-wrought, and the passion guides the music tastefully. Now that I hear it, I am pretty sure I've heard this before, but quite a long time ago. It has definitely convinced me to do more thorough investigation of Handel opera than I've done so far (which has been more random than thorough). You may have converted me yet, Handel!

    Actually, this trio reminded me immediately of the exquisite sextet from The Marriage of Figaro, in which the agitated music of the Count and Don Curzio (the march rhythm and minor seconds) is contrasted with the loving legato music of the remaining quartet Susanna, Figaro, Marcellina, and Bartolo. In that sextet, the opposing interests and emotions of these two groups is presented wonderfully, and the exact same effect is here in this Acis and Galatea trio. Mozart didn't arrange Acis and Galatea until a few years later, and I am not certain when he first encountered this work, but I can't help but think that Mozart might have thought on this trio when composing the sextet from Le nozze di Figaro.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leporello87 View Post
    Which is probably why I've never gotten into it as much. One of the parts I love most about opera is how different interactions can be represented in music, which is why I've never been a big fan of opera seria. Characters interact during dry recitatives, but not in the music. If you're lucky enough to get a duet or a trio, each character usually sings individually, and when they sing together, it's a love duet, so they sing in 3rds or 6ths. In other words, the characters are not themselves individually distinguished. This is, of course, why I am a great admirer of the late Mozart operas.

    Having said all that, this trio you've posted is absolutely lovely -- the textures and melodic lines are well-wrought, and the passion guides the music tastefully. Now that I hear it, I am pretty sure I've heard this before, but quite a long time ago. It has definitely convinced me to do more thorough investigation of Handel opera than I've done so far (which has been more random than thorough). You may have converted me yet, Handel!

    Actually, this trio reminded me immediately of the exquisite sextet from The Marriage of Figaro, in which the agitated music of the Count and Don Curzio (the march rhythm and minor seconds) is contrasted with the loving legato music of the remaining quartet Susanna, Figaro, Marcellina, and Bartolo. In that sextet, the opposing interests and emotions of these two groups is presented wonderfully, and the exact same effect is here in this Acis and Galatea trio. Mozart didn't arrange Acis and Galatea until a few years later, and I am not certain when he first encountered this work, but I can't help but think that Mozart might have thought on this trio when composing the sextet from Le nozze di Figaro.
    Mozart, as you may know it, arranged the work in 1788 (as well as Messiah and 2 odesa few years later) for the baron van Swieten who was a great Handelian.

    Also, don't investigate only Handel's operas but his oratorios too. There is plenty of good cantatas too.
    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?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Handel View Post
    Mozart, as you may know it, arranged the work in 1788 (as well as Messiah and 2 odesa few years later) for the baron van Swieten who was a great Handelian.

    Also, don't investigate only Handel's operas but his oratorios too. There is plenty of good cantatas too.
    I knew he arranged it in 1788, but do you know when he first encountered the work? 1788 is only a couple years after he composed Figaro, so I wonder if he knew Acis and Galatea even then.

    I am actually more familiar with a few of the oratorios than the operas, which is why I specifically mentioned operas -- you know, just to widen the spectrum. Cantatas I don't believe I'm familiar with, so it's more to look into. I wish my local library carried more music; their classical collection is not especially impressive.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is possible that Mozart have listened Acis and Galatea when he was in London during his youth (1764 I think). Handel works were still played (those in english) at that time. I remember to have read somewhere (can't remember where howeverf) that Mozart attend to an Acis in Galatea concert during his stay in London.

    Concerning cantatas, check out for Apollo e Dafne (which is considered by many as his best cantata) and The Lucrezia.

    Finally, if recitatives and arias can express great sentiments, chorus too, but on a collective level (e.g. the nation mourns a king). And Handel give to those choruses a different voice depending of the nation who they represent.

    In Belshazzar, there is 3 different tones.
    1- for the Persians who, leaded by Cyrus, invade Babylone
    2- for the Babylonians,
    3- for the Jews, captives of Babylonians.
    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?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, California, USA
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks for the additional recommendations.

    Great point about the dramatic and expressive capabilities of choruses -- another area I feel was tapped not tapped well enough by many of the operas in this period. This chorus you mention sounds great. During our conversations, I am keeping a checklist of all this Handel to look for

  15. #15
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Here are 3 chorus sung by each parts.

    The Jews: http://www.box.net/shared/rkkkbsoh1x

    Recall, O king, thy rash command!
    Nor prostitute with impious hand
    To uses vile the holy things
    Of great Jehovah, king of kings.
    Thy grandsire trembled at his name,
    And doom'd to death who durst blaspheme;
    For he, like us, his pow'r had tried,
    Confess'd him just in all his ways,
    Confess'd him able to abase
    The sons of men that walk in pride.

    The Babylonians: http://www.box.net/shared/zdmbtoyseb

    Ye tutelar gods of our empire, look down,
    And see what rich trophies your victory crown.
    Let our bounteous gifts, which our gratitude raise,
    Wine, gold, merry notes, pay our tributes of praise.
    Sesach, this night is chiefly thine,
    Kind donor of the sparkling wine!

    The Persians: http://www.box.net/shared/qz0hd38n3g

    O glorious prince, thrice happy they
    Born to enjoy thy future sway!
    To all like thee were sceptres giv'n,
    Kings were like gods, and earth like Heav'n.
    Subjection free, unforc'd, would prove
    Obedience is the child of love;
    The jars of nation soon would cease,
    Sweet liberty, beatific peace
    Would stretch their reign from shore to shore,
    And war and slav'ry be no more

    I forgot this. If you want to learn more about Handel operas, begin either by Giulio Cesare in Egitto or Alcina. Those two are the best he made.
    Last edited by Handel; Jun-15-2007 at 18:03.
    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?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. How to "See the Light" with Handel
    By Leporello87 in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Aug-16-2009, 05:39
  2. Georg Gerschwin
    By somorastik in forum Community Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Aug-17-2006, 14:22

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •