The Baroque Era





17th to mid-18th century




(Classical Music Map)




 

I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
 
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz
 





George Frideric Handel




(1685-1759)



 

Handel was born in Halle in Saxony (now Germany), the son of a 63-year-old barber-surgeon. His father intended that he should study law, but Handel longed to explore music — so much so that he smuggled a small clavichord into their attic. On a visit to the court of Saxe-Weissenfels, where his father was the court barber, Handel was overheard playing the organ by the Duke, who managed to convince the reluctant parent of the boy's musical potential. Handel subsequently studied both law and music, mastering the organ, violin, and harpsichord, composing in different musical forms and spending hours copying scores from the manuscript collection of his teacher, the organist and composer Friedrich Zachau.

Handel entered Halle University in 1702 and within a month was engaged as the probationary organist at the Calvinist cathedral in Halle. He enjoyed a year of free lodgings before moving on to Hamburg, the only German city, excluding the courts, with an opera house. He was employed as a violinist at the opera house, then harpsichordist, and within three years his first two operas were staged. In 1706 he met the heir to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who invited him to Florence - the start of three formative and creative years in Italy. Here he met many leading composers, including Corelli, the Scarlattis, and Vivaldi, all of whose influences can be heard m his music. He was inspired to write operas, notably Agrippina which was performed 27 times, as well as oratorios and more than 150 cantatas. He created quite a name for himself, particularly in Venice, before travelling to Innsbruck to meet the Governor of the Tyrol. From there he journeyed to Hanover to work as the Kappellmeister to the Elector, the man destined to accede to the English throne.

In 1710 Handel visited London to produce his opera Rinaldo, and was inspired by its success to settle there permanently. Queen Anne awarded him a pension of 200L per annum, but Handel's position became difficult when she died and the Elector of Hanover, from whom he had played truant, became King of England. One story relates that a reconciliation was effected when King George made a sailing excursion on the Thames: a second barge carrying 50 musicians under Handel's direction shadowed the royal boat, performing the now famous Water music. The King was so captivated that he requested three renditions of the hour-long concert, forgiving the composer, and raising his pension to 600L.

Consisting of three suites divided into 20 short movements, the Water music is scored for trumpets, horns, oboes, bassoons, recorders, flutes, and strings. It notably displays Handel's gifts for orchestration, the sound of trumpets and horns across water being especially effective.

From 1718 to 1720 Handel served as music director to the Duke of Chandos, and during this period he wrote the Chandos anthems and the dramatic oratorio Acis and Galatea. He generally found patrons easily; in the winter of 1718—19 the nobility combined forces to create and fund the Royal Academy of Music to promote Italian opera in London, with Handel as musical director. For eight years the focus for operatic activity in Europe was London, and Handel enjoyed many triumphs, including Giulio Cesare in 1724. He was appointed composer to the Royal Chapel, moved to a house in Grosvenor Square, and sought English naturalization.

The Academy faltered as a result of the costs of its opera productions, but Handel's career seemed blessed. A modest first performance of his Esther, the first oratorio to be heard in London, took place at a tavern in the Strand during the winter of 1732. It was a triumph, and at Princess Anne's request was transferred to the King's Theatre. Handel expanded it, and the six performances were a great success.

In 1740 Handel composed his 12 Concerti grossi, Opus 6, for strings and optional woodwind, which with Bach's Brandenburg concertos represent the peak of instrumental writing during the Baroque. The next year he went to Dublin, where he began a series of "musical entertainments" that were an instant success. On 13 April 1742 he premiered his oratorio the Messiah to an enraptured Dublin audience. The Messiah was, incredibly, written in just one month in 1741. Based on texts from the Bible, it falls into three parts: the anticipation of the Messiah and Christ's birth; Christ's Passion; and Christ as the Redeemer. Handel altered the work's orchestration to suit the demands of various performances, and during his lifetime there was no one definitive edition. Of the famous "Hallelujah Chorus", Handel was moved to say, "I thought I saw all Heaven before me, and the great God himself."

Handel took the work back to England the following year, where it was initially less well received but gradually found favour. At Covent Garden he initiated a series of concerts and in 1744 staged the oratorios Belshazzar and Hercules. For the 1744-5 season he returned to the King's Theatre but his earlier success was not repeated and the series closed early.

Handel continued composing unabated and in 1746 produced the hugely popular oratorio Judas Maccabaeus. The king subsequently commissioned music to accompany a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Even the rehearsal, in London's Vauxhall Gardens, caused an impromptu audience of 12,000 to stop traffic for three hours.

After the Fireworks music Handel wrote relatively little. He was unsuccessfully operated on for eye cataracts, which left him blind for the last seven years of his life. He died in London at the age of 74 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

 


"Handel understands effect better than any of us;

when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


 






George Frideric Handel



Handel

 

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
 

REPRESENTATIVE WORKS
 

Concerto Grosso 1 in G
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard) - complete

A tempo giusto
Allegro
Allegro
Allegro
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso 2 in F
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Andante larghetto
Allegro
Largo-Adagio-Larghetto andante, e piano
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso 3 in E minor
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Larghetto
Andante
Allegro
Polonaise
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso 4 in A minor
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Larghetto affettuoso
Allegro
Largo, e piano
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso 9 in F
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Largo
Allegro
Larghetto
Allegro
Menuet
Gigue
 
Concerto Grosso 10 in D minor
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Ouverture
Allegro
Air (Lento)
Allegro
Allegro
Allegro moderato
 
Concerto Grosso 11 in A
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Andante larghetto, e staccato
Allegro
Largo, e staccato
Andante
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso 12 in B minor
(English Chamber Orchestra conducted by R. Leppard)
- complete

Largo
Allegro
Larghetto, e piano
Largo
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso Op. 3/1 in B flat major
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Allegro
Largo
Rondo
 
Concerto Grosso Op. 3/2 in B flat major
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Vivace
Largo
Allegro
Andante
Gavotte
 
Concerto Grosso Op. 3/3 in G major
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Largo e staccato, Allegro
Adagio
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso Op. 3/4 in F major
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Andante - Allegro
Andante
Allegro
Minuetto
 
Concerto Grosso Op. 3/5 in D minor
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Andante, Allegro
Adagio
Allegro ma non troppo
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso Opm3/6 in D major
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Vivace
Allegro
 
Concerto Grosso Op. 3/7 in C major "Alexander's Feast"
(Camerata Romana conducted by Alberto Lizzio) - complete

Allegro
Largo
Allegro
 
Water Music-Suite 1 in F major
(I Musici di San Marco conducted by L Varese)
- complete

Ouverture
Adagio e Staccato
Allegro-Andante-Allegro
Passepied
Air
Menuet
Bourree
Hornpipe
Allegro
 
Water Music-Suite 2 in D major
(I Musici di San Marco conducted by L Varese)
- complete

Allegro
Alla Hornpipe
Menuet
Lentement
Bourree
 
Fiereworks Music-Concerto 26 in D major
(I Musici di San Marco conducted by L Varese)
- complete

Ouverture
Bourree
La paix: Largo alla Siciliana
La rejouissance: Allegro
Menuet
Menuet
 
Sinfonia in E minor from "The Messiah"
(I Musici di San Marco conducted by L Varese) - complete
 
Larghetto (Pastorale) in C major from "The Messiah"
(I Musici di San Marco conducted by L Varese) - complete
 
Organ concerto, Op. 4/1 in G minor
(Eberhard Kraus: Organ Camerata Romana; Conductor: Eugen Duvier) - complete

Largetto e staccato
Allegro
Adagio
Andante
 
Organ concerto, Op. 4/1 in G minor
(Eberhard Kraus: Organ Camerata Romana; Conductor: Eugen Duvier) - complete

Largetto
Allegro
Largetto
Allegro

 

 


Andrea Pozzo
(1642-1709)

 

Albinoni

Allegri

Arne

Bach

Carissimi

Charpentier

Corelli

Couperin

Handel

Lully

Monteverdi

Pachelbel

Purcell

Rameau

Scarlatti

Schutz

Telemann

Vivaldi

 

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