Drapeau de Allemagne

Compositeur - Handel

novembre 2017

Three festivals for Mr. Handel

Sandra takes us on a guided tour round Germany's major international Handel Festivals: Göttingen, Halle and Karlsruhe.
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel

Baroque month: a guided tour of Handel's Messiah

Jane Shuttleworth is your personal guide around Handel’s greatest hit, from the solemn overture to the energetic and complex final fugue.

Handel or Bach? The great Baroque debate

For Bachtrack’s Baroque Music Month, musicologist and passionate Handel advocate Corrina Connor and Margaret Steinitz, Artistic Director of the London Bach Society, debate the relative merits of their preferred Baroque composer.

A Species of Musick Different From Any Other: Handel's Messiah

“It is difficult in no common degree to write anew concerning The Messiah,”1 said the music writer Henry F Chorley in 1859. The piece was, of course, 117 years old at the time, and there has only been more written on this landmark composition since. Handel’s Messiah is not just a popular classic, after all: it’s also a hugely important work.
Spectacles à venirEn voir plus...

LondresBaroque Trumpet Concertos by Candlelight

Haendel, Torelli, Marcello, Vivaldi, Purcell, Pachelbel, Bach, Mozart
London Gala Orchestra; Stephen Dominic Ellery; Paul Bosworth; Lukasz Biela


Haendel, Rutter
Matthias Hellmons; Stephanie Henke; Clemens Löschmann; Städtischer Musikverein Oelde; Capella Loburgensis Ostbevern

MalvernGiulio CesareConcert performance

Haendel: Jules César en Egypte (Giulio Cesare en Egitto)
Jonathan Peter Kenny; English Touring Opera; James Conway; Christopher Ainslie; Soraya Mafi

BarcelonaVivica Genaux & Les Musiciens du Louvre

Haendel, Porpora, Hasse
Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble; Vivica Genaux

BudapestAngelic Voices - advent concert by the Cantemus Choir

Haendel, Britten, Kocsár, Caccini, Traditional, Palestrina, Schütz, Kay, Chilcott, Gyöngyösi, Kodály, Franck, Biebl, Bach, Gounod, Ešenvalds, Wade, Rutter
Dénes Szabó; Soma Szabó; Nyíregyháza Cantemus Mixed Choir; Nyíregyházi Pro Musica Girls' Choir
Critiques récentesEn voir plus...

In War and Peace : un projet intense à l'harmonie fragile

Programme puis projet de plus grande envergure conçu par Joyce DiDonato après les attentats de novembre 2015 à Paris, ce récital repris cette saison dans "Les Grandes Voix" aux côtés de l'orchestre Il Pomo d'Oro dirigé par Maxim Emelyanychev résonne de façon significative avec l'actualité et propose de repenser la question de la paix autant que celle de l'expérience du concert.

Patrizia Ciofi : l'équilibre transcendant

Ce récital de la soprano italienne Patrizia Ciofi accompagnée par l’orchestre Il Pomo d’Oro dirigé par le chef russe Maxim Emelyanychev fut assurément l’une des plus exquises soirées dédiées à l’art vocal programmées cette saison à Philharmonie de Paris.

Le Chœur et l’Orchestre de l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia menés d’une main maître par Ton Koopman

Pour leur troisième soir de représentation, les musiciens de l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia et Ton Koopman ont offert au public de l’Auditorium Parco della Musica une performance faite de rigueur et de complicité.

Emőke Baráth à la Salle Cortot : Haendel, Mi Palpita il Cor

Récital intimiste de la soprano hongroise Emőke Baráth, dont l'aisance dans le répertoire baroque continue de s'affirmer, tant dans son expression que dans sa recherche d'ornementations.

Amandine Beyer à Bethléem : raffinement et grande intelligence pour un voyage musical prometteur

Jeudi 12 janvier dernier, le Convention Palace de Bethléem accueillait Amandine Beyer dans un programme consacré à Corelli, après une semaine de résidence où la violoniste française a formé un orchestre de jeunes musiciens particulièrement talentueux. Ce concert a été marqué par l’engagement et les qualités extrêmement prometteuses des interprètes.
Portrait of Handel by George Knapton © by kind permission of the Royal Academy of Music
Portrait of Handel by George Knapton
© by kind permission of the Royal Academy of Music

Handel was born in 1685 in the Saxon town of Halle, but he became an English citizen and died in London in 1759. He enjoyed success in several different countries and his musical style ranged accordingly, from Italian opera to the German suite and the English anthem, from the concerto grosso to the royal birthday ode.

A deep interest in opera drew Handel first to Hamburg and then in 1706 to Italy, in order to study the genre at source and thus be able to develop his creative talent. In Venice his Agrippina (1709) was enthusiastically acclaimed, receiving 27 performances before he returned to Germany to become Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover. But opera remained his first love, and it was the chance to renew his involvement with the theatre which soon drew him to London, where his opera Rinaldo was produced in 1711.

From the time Handel settled in England in 1712, his achievement was such that he attained a position of some eminence in the cultural life of the nation. The accession in 1714 of his former employer, the Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover, to the English throne as George I might have been an embarrassment, had not the King recognised both Handel's genius and the fact that a fellow German-speaker would be useful to him in London society.

As early as 1713, for instance, Handel provided a Birthday Ode for Queen Anne and a Te Deum and Jubilate to celebrate the peace of Utrecht, while ten years later he wrote his impressive set of four Coronation Anthems for the new King George II. One of these, Zadok the Priest, has been performed at every subsequent coronation. Handel's role as 'composer laureate', moreover, continued for the rest of his life.

In 1717 Handel entered the service of James Brydges, soon to be created Duke of Chandos, at his lavish home Cannons at Edgware. There he wrote anthems and dramatic music, such as the oratorio Esther and the pastoral opera Acis and Galatea, both to English words. He also turned to instrumental sonatas and suites, writing trio sonatas and keyboard music of enduring value.

In 1719 a Royal Academy of Music was created by wealthy enthusiasts in order to promote Italian opera. Handel was appointed its musical director and was involved in every aspect of the operation, even traveling to Europe to recruit singers. The next few years were prolific indeed, with operatic masterpieces such as Radamisto, Ottone, Giulio Cesare, Rodelinda, Tamerlano and Admeto. Thanks to Handel London had become the operatic capital of Europe.

In nearly forty operas Handel allowed the structure and virtuosity of opera seria to be moulded into a musical language of truly human dimensions. However, as time passed public support proved fickle and in 1729 the Academy venture collapsed, to be replaced by a new company at Covent Garden, replete with with singers recruited from Italy. There is no question that Handel was the greatest musical cosmopolitan of the day: a German composer, living in London, and writing Italian operas. In these operas there are relatively few ensembles and choruses. Dialogue takes place in lightly accompanied recitatives, but the arias are supremely rich and varied, strongly characterised while offering abundant opportunities for vocal virtuosity. The star singers were highly paid entertainers with international reputations, including castrati such as Caffarelli (real name Gaetano Majorano).

When during the 1730s this type of opera became unfashionable, Handel renewed his career by successfully creating a new genre for performance in the theatre, the oratorio in English on Biblical texts. These oratorios became hugely popular and they also contain some wonderful music. The majority are based on tales from the Old Testament: Samson, Belshazar, Joshua, Solomon and Saul, for example. The most successful has of course been Messiah (1742), which has become a veritable institution in our national life, performed year on year, and much more frequently than the remainder put together. At these oratorio performances, Handel included interval performances of concertos, sometimes featuring himself as organ soloist. His greatest achievement in the field was his set of twelve concerti grossi, Opus 6 (1739), which he composed at the suggestion of his publisher John Walsh. These are among the great instrumental works of the baroque era and, typically, they frequently employ music borrowed from earlier compositions as well as new material.

During the 1750s Handel’s health and eyesight deteriorated, until he went blind. He died on 14th April 1759 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Among contemporary composers his mastery was equalled only by Bach; but in opera he was without peer, the outstanding opera composer during the entire period between Monteverdi and Mozart.

© Terry Barfoot/BBC

Schneider portrait of Handel reproduced by permission of Händel-Haus, Halle. Engraving reproduced by permission of the BBC

Liste des oeuvres
Acis et GalateaAgrippinaAgrippina: Pensieri, voi mi tormentateAgrippina: SinfoniaAh che troppo ineguali, HWV 230AlcinaAlcina HWV 34: ballet musicAlcina, HWV 34: Tornami a vagheggiarAlcina, HWV 34: overtureAlessandro, HWV 21: Aure, fonti, ombre graditeAlessandro, HWV 21: Brilla nell' alma un non inteso ancorAlessandro, HWV 21: Solitudine amate in cui sfogarmilive una flamma infeliceArias from Oratorios and OperasAriodanteAriodante, HWV33: Dopo notteAriodante, HWV33: Scherza infidaAthaliaBlessed are they that considereth the poor, (Foundling Hospital Anthem) HWV 268Brockes Passion, HWV 48Chaconne from TerpischoreChandos Anthems, HWV 246-56Concerto Grosso in A major, Op.6 No.11, HWV 329Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op.6 no.4, HWV 322Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.3 No.1, HWV 312Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.6 No.7, HWV 325Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op.6 No.8, HWV 326Concerto Grosso in D major, Op.6 No.5, HWV 323Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op.6 No.10, HWV 328Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.3 no. 4Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.6 No.2, HWV 320Concerto a Quattro in D minor (attrib.)Concerto grosso en si bémol majeur, Op. 3 no. 2, HWV 313Concerto grosso en sol majeur, Op. 6 no. 1, HWV 319Concerto grosso in g-Moll, Op.6 no.6, HWV 324Concerto pour hautbois no. 3 en sol mineur, HWV 287Conservate, raddoppiate, HWV 185Dixit Dominus en sol mineur, HWV 232Donna, che in ciel, HWV 233Flavio, HWV 16: Bel ContentoFlavio, HWV 16: Rompo i lacci, e frango i dardiGiulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17: AriasGiulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17: Da tempesteGiulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17: Svegliatevi nel coreGiustino, HWV 37:Se parla nei mio corGloria in excelsis deo, HWV 245Gloria, HWV deestIl Delirio Amoroso, (Da quel giorno fatale) HWV 99Il duello amoroso, HWV 82Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, HWV 46aIl trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, HWV 46a: Lascia la spinaImeneo: "Se potessero i sospir' miei"Israel in EgyptJephthaJephtha HWV 70: 'Scenes of horror, scenes of woeJoseph and his Brethren, HWV 59Judas Maccabeus: O Lovely PeaceJules César en Egypte (Giulio Cesare en Egitto)Jules César en Egypte: Piangerò la sorte miaLe MessieLe Messie, HWV 56: Hallelujah ChorusLet thy hand be strengthened; Coronation Anthem No. 4, HWV 259Lucio Cornelio SillaMessiahMessiah HWV56: Rejoice Greatly O Daughter of ZionMessiah, HWV 56: I know that my redeemer livethMessiah, HWV 56: O thou that tellest good tidings to ZionMessiah, HWV 56: Part IMessiah, HWV 56: excerptsMi palpita il cor, HWV 132cMusique pour les feux d'artifice royaux (Royal Fireworks Music), HWV 351Musique sur l'Eau, Suite no. 1 en fa majeur, HWV 348My heart is inditing; Coronation Anthem No. 3, HWV 261Nisi Dominus, HWV 238No, di voi non vo' fidarmi, HWV 189, HWV 190O come, let us sing unto the Lord; Chandos Anthem No. 8, HWV 253Ode for St Cecilia's Day, HWV 76Ode for St Cecilia's Day, HWV 76: What passion cannot Music raise and quell?Organ Concerto in B flat major, Op.4 no.6, HWV 294Organ Concerto in D minor, HWV 304Organ Concerto in F major "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale", HWV 295Organ Concerto in F major, HWV 305Organ Concerto in F major, Op.4 no.4, HWV 292Organ Concerto in G minor, Op.4 no.1, HWV 289Organ Concerto in G minor, Op.4 no.3, HWV 291Organ Concerto in G minor, Op.7 no.5, HWV 310OrlandoOrlando HWV 31:Fammi combattereParnasso in festa, HWV73: Ho perso il caro benPartenopePublio Cornelio ScipioneRadamisto, HWV 12: Ombra cara di mia sposaRadamisto, HWV 12: OvertureRadamisto, HWV 12: Vile! Se mi dai vitaRadamisto, HWV 12a, bRecorder Sonata in F major, Op.1 no.11, HWV 369RinaldoRinaldo, HWV 7: Abbrugio avampo e fremoRinaldo, HWV 7: Augelletti, che cantateRinaldo, HWV 7: Lascia ch'io piangaRinaldo, HWV 7: Venti turbiniRinaldo, HWV 7: suiteRinaldo, HWV7: Cara sposaRodelinda, regina de' LangobardiSamson, HWV 57: Let the bright SeraphimSaulSemeleSerse (Xerxes)Serse (Xerxes), HWV 40: LargoSerse (Xerxes), HWV 40: Ombra mai fùSiroe, re di Persia, HWV 24: Deggio morire, o stelleSolomonSolomon, HWV 67: Arrivée de la Reine de SabaSonata a 5 in B flat major, HWV 288Suite de pièce in E major, Vol 1 no. 5 (aka "The Harmonious Blacksmith" or "Air and Variations in E major"), HWV 430Suite de pièce in G major, Vol 2 no. 2 (aka "Chaconne in G major"), HWV 435Suite in D-Dur für Trompete und Streicher, HWV341Suite no. 7 in G minor for violin and viola, HWV 432: PassacagliaSusanna, HWV 66: Crystal streams in murmurs flowingThe King shall rejoice, HWV 265The King shall rejoice; Coronation Anthem No. 2, HWV 260The Lord is my light; Chandos Anthem No. 10, HWV 255The Triumph of Time and TruthTheodora, HWV 68: AriasTheodora, HWV 68: As with rosy stepsTolomeo, Re d'Egitto, HWV 25: Inumano fratel.... Stille amareVarious AriasWater Music, HWV 348- 50Water Music, HWV 348-50: excerptsWater Music, Suite no. 1 en fa majeur, HWV 348: Air, no. 5Water Music, Suite no. 2 in D major, HWV 349Water Music, Suite no. 3 in G major, HWV 350Zadok the Priest, HWV 258: God save the KingZadok the priest; Coronation Anthem No. 1, HWV 258