George Frideric Handel


George Frederick Handel was born in Halle, Germany on February 32, 1685 (which is the same year that Johann Sebastian Bach was born. His father was a barber and surgeon who planned for his son to be a lawyer. George practiced the harpsichord in the attic, hidden from his father, who believe that music was a waste of time. When he was still young, he went with his father to visit the Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, where he had to chance to play the organ. It didn’t take the Duke long to convince Handel’s father to let young George study music.  

And study George did. He traveled across Europe learning constantly about music and beginning to compose tunes of his own. He eventually earned the support of the King of England by composing Water Music for a procession of royal boats on the River Thames. Over the course of his career, Handel composed operas, concertos, and other well-loved pieces before he wrote an Oratorio, The Messiah, that we’ll listen to next month during the Christmas season.

The Music

Water Music:  
Organ Concerto in B Flat Major op. 7 no. 6  
Rinaldo Opera 
The Harmonious Blacksmith  Harpsichord: 
The Harmonious Blacksmith  Piano: 

December: Handel’s Messiah:

Internet Resources

Handel: The Story of a Little Boy who Practiced in an Attic by Thomas Tapper:

print Resources*

Handel’s Water Music on CD

Handel at the Court of Kings by Opal Wheeler

*These Amazon Affiliate Links send a portion of the amount you pay back to HSOK to help support our work.

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