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Handel was notoriously tough on singers who caused him problems. While rehearsing Flavio (1723), the tenor Alexander Gordon became exasperated with Handel’s method of continuo accompaniment, and threatened to jump on the composer’s harpsichord. It is said that Handel retorted ‘Oh! Let me know when you will do that, and I will advertise it. For I am sure ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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While composing for the Earl of Carnarvon at Cannons, Handel was the musical contributor to a distinguished literary circle including the poets John Gay, Alexander Pope (1688–1744) and John Hughes (1677–1720). It is believed that all three authors contributed to the libretto of Acis and Galatea, which was given a private staged performance that probably required only a ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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the spell has been lifted from the land; the castle lies in ruins and Alcina’s captives turn back into humans. Everyone rejoices in love and freedom. Personalities | George Frideric Handel | Late Baroque | Opera ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Ariodante also derives from Ariosto, but it is a serious opera. Thanks to a fine text, adapted from an old Italian libretto by Antonio Salvi, Handel was able to explore potent tragic situations, such as the King of Scotland being forced to contemplate executing his much-loved daughter Ginvera. The opera is best known for ‘Scherza infida’, an ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Barbara Schlick (Cleopatra), Marianne Rorholm (Sesto), Jennifer Larmore (Giulio Cesare), Bernarda Fink (Cornelia), Derek Lee Ragin (Tolomeo), Furio Zanasi (Achilla), Olivier Lalouette (Curio), Dominique Visse (Nireno) Personalities | George Frideric Handel | Late Baroque | Opera ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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‘Non fu già men forte Alcide’, featuring Handel’s typically robust yet melodic use of horns, in which the deluded warrior compares himself to Hercules. This was the last role Handel ever composed for his star castrato Senesino, and it is the most astonishing and innovative. Handel’s music for Angelica, the shepherdess Dorinda and the Prince Medoro is also ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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‘Cara sposa’, both composed for the castrato Nicolini (1673–1732). However, the dominant character is the villainous enchantress Armida, whose conclusion to Act II, ‘Vo far guerra’, afforded Handel an opportunity to dazzle his audiences with stunningly intricate harpsichord solos. Composed: 1711 Premiered: 1711, London Libretto by Aaron Hill and Giacomo Rossi, after Torquato Tasso Act I ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Composed in 1725, Rodelinda is remarkable for its quality. Handel composed many exceptional accompanied recitatives for Senesino throughout their collaborations, and in this opera the dethroned King Bertarido, believed dead by his steadfast wife, laments his misfortune in an accompanied recitative and aria, ‘Pompe vane di morte! … Dove sei amato bene’, which shows Handel ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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that she and Athamas wed. Apollo descends with the news that from Semele’s ashes will rise Bacchus, god of wine. Everyone celebrates the joyful news. Personalities | George Frideric Handel | Late Baroque | Opera ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Although popular now, Serse was one of Handel’s worst failures during his own time. It was only performed five times in its first run and Handel never revived it. Unusually among his operas, its libretto by Silvio Stampiglia (1664–1725) is warmly light-hearted and does not seriously concern itself with tragic events or heroic actions. The most famous aria, ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1685–1759 English composer George Frideric Handel is one of the best known of all Baroque composers. His gift for melody, his instinctive sense of drama and vivid scene-painting, and the extraordinary range of human emotions explored in his vocal compositions make his music instantly accessible. Works such as Messiah (1741), Water Music (1717) and Music for the Royal Fireworks ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1685–1759, German Handel composed 42 operas between 1704 and 1740, but most of these were neglected and seldom performed after his lifetime. In the twentieth century, Handel’s music dramas and in particular his operas underwent a renaissance that has established him as the definitive theatre composer of the late Baroque period. Handel was a maverick composer who pursued ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Tudor England there were barrel-operated virginals, and 1687 saw a combined organ-and-spinet with 16 pipes and 16 strings, all within a single clock. In 1736, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) wrote and arranged numerous pieces for a clock that played both bells and organ pipes. In 1790 Mozart composed a great masterpiece expressly for a form of barrel organ. ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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As ensemble music became more popular during the sixteenth century there was increased demand for wind instruments that could elegantly negotiate the lower ranges. Large versions of wind instruments intended for the higher registers lacked volume and agility and were often difficult to play. Various elements of existing instruments – the bass recorder’s crook and the shawm’s double reed, for ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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popular. The guitar started to spread outside Spain and was particularly favoured in French and English aristocratic circles. 1700–50 This period marked the heyday of composers such as George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), and was the culmination of the Baroque era. The Baroque orchestra’s core grouping of strings and harpsichord ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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