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George Frederick Handel 1685 - 1759. Handel: Family History Born in Halle, Germany (one month before J.S Bach) Handel was not from a musical family –

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Presentation on theme: "George Frederick Handel 1685 - 1759. Handel: Family History Born in Halle, Germany (one month before J.S Bach) Handel was not from a musical family –"— Presentation transcript:

1 George Frederick Handel

2 Handel: Family History Born in Halle, Germany (one month before J.S Bach) Handel was not from a musical family – Father was a surgeon – Wanted Handel to study law and forbid music By the time Handel was 9, he was so knowledgeable in music that his father let him take “limited” lessons from the town organists By the age of 11, he not only was able to compose music, but gave lessons

3 To “honor” his father, who died when he was 12, he went to Halle University to study law. He only lasted one semester and dropped out to move to Hamburg to do music He was a violinist and harpsichordist for the orchestra in Hamburg When he was 20, he had his first major opera produced He stayed at Hamburg for four years and produced his own productions which brought fame and fortune to the town

4 Production that almost Killed him The company was performing and opera by Handel, and asked one of Handel’s friends to play the harpsichord instead of him (to save a lot of money) Handel became very irate, and refused to allow this to happen He showed up at rehearsal and they got into a fight; Handel narrowly escaped a sword stab wound when they both decided to give up and bury the hatchet

5 Return to Germany Handel left and took a job with a producer that offered him a lot of money to work for “The Royal Academy of Music” Handel would write many pieces for the RAM company, but was wanting more fame Handel left and decided to make more money on tour with his pieces The RAM hired Francesco Bonocini as the replacement for Handel

6 Handel heard of the replacement, and was very jealous that Bonocini was accepted; somewhat more than he was Handel returned and the company gracefully gave him a co-music director for the RAM; working hand in hand with Bonocini The two would alternate months; one doing a production and being supported to the fullest one month, and then alternating with the other The entire RAM was a HUGE “overnight” sensation, making a lot of money for the company

7 The Grass is not always greener… Every month became every 2 weeks, and so on The company had to spend so much money on both productions as they required more and more, that the RAM went bankrupt, and both were out of a job The company had to sell off most of its inventory just to make their final payments

8 Handel leaves the turmoil Bonocini and Handel were distraught at losing everything, they both went to a depression and moved away Handel was then described from the king of Prussia --“Handel’s great days are over, his inspiration is exhausted, and his taste of freshness is spoiled” Handel moved to London to start his life over…no one ever knew what happened to Bonocini…

9 Handel recovers: After going to London, he was able to gain fame again with writing his own music, and getting music students to study under him to make a lot of money He was able to pay off his debts, and again, start making money again from his performances and operas in the area

10 ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY?? Handel, while in London, was approached by a group of 5 musicians that wanted a “manager” type person to assist them to become famous. This group was called “The Opera of the Nobility” – they had direct ties to the king and money was no issue Handel, of course, accepted the job, and decided to work with the group, offering his music and using their music in his operas –this helped both groups gain more fame… like obtaining a new lead singer…

11 Handel gets sick…. Replacement? Handel becomes ill while on tour, and asks for a few weeks to recover while the opera group still moves on with their musical productions, moving town to town; making a lot of money While Handel was out, the Opera of the Nobility found a temporary replacement while in a small town performing outside Halle, Germany. They offered a temporary job to the new temporary manager “until Handel was to return to duty”

12 OMG!!! REALLY!?!?! It comes to be that the new manager they hired was actually none other than Francisco Bonocini, that Handel had worked “for and against” ten years earlier! Handel returned a few weeks later, found out that Bonocini was again “in his way of fame” and decided to, again, battle it out with him using this new company…..yes, again…

13 Not again….. After three weeks of costly costume changes, and not getting along, the two again run this company into the ground, bankrupting the second company together Handel and Bonocini, again, parted ways, losing a lot of money and most of their assets for the company Handel decided that business was “not his thing anymore” (after bankrupting two major music companies in 20 years) and decided to just work to teach music and write a future opera that would “for sure change the world as we know it”

14 A Masterpiece was Born… After working for the next 5 years on the masterpiece.. “The Messiah” was finally born This was a piece that was the most successful of Handel’s career, and ended up not only making money to pay off his debts, but earning him the top salary of all of the land He made so much money off of the Messiah that people would spend most of their life savings just to be able to witness one performance of it. The Messiah was an ALL DAY event, that costs so much money, a monthly salary would cover the cost of one ticket.

15 Handel becomes “gracious” For the next 15 years, Handel only performed the “Messiah” in and around the entire land He began to use the “Messiah” as a way to raise funds for orphanages and hospitals that would be in distress He became the most “generous” person; people would approach him anytime they needed money for public downfalls and tragedies; he gladly would have a concert of the Messiah and give them the entire contents of the performance

16 The Bitter End…. By 1753, Handel had suffered several breakdowns; his health was suffering By 1754, he was almost completely blind In 1758, Germany erected a statue in his honor at a major park In 1759, he died; over 3000 people attended his funeral. He was buried in Westminster Abbey


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