H. Wendell Howard George Frederick Handel's Messiah is numbered among the most universally famous compositions of all time and arguably is the most famous of all English oratorios. Such acclaim and appreciation, however, began in Dublin where the first performance took place, for by 1741, the year the work was completed, Handel's reputation and fortunes in London had severely deteriorated. Handel, who was born in Halle in Upper Saxony, had arrived in London when he was twenty-seven years old. He had already been an assistant organist in Halle; a violinist in the orchestra at Hamburg (which he also conducted on occasion), the composer of four operas and the Passion of St. Luke; and in Italy the associate of Cavalli, Carissimi, the Scarlattis, Corelli, and many other great composers. So, when he moved to England, where he quickly took out papers of naturalization to become an English subject, he came with already written, and ideas for yet-to-be-written, operas that were saturated in the Italian style. At first Handel had been a national hero for supplying London with operas, so much a hero, in fact, that within seven years of his arrival, an opera company, the Royal Academy of Music,
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture – Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture
Published: Apr 25, 2007
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