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Born: 1685, Halle, Germany
Died: 1759, London, England

"I have…endeavored to show that the English language, which is so expressive of the sublimest sentiments, is the best adapted of any to the full and solemn kind of music."

Georg Friedrich Händel was on his way to becoming a church composer when a visit to Berlin ca. 1702 gave him his first taste of opera. He spent the next few years in Europe's operatic centers acquiring the skills that made him the greatest dramatic composer of his age. He settled in London in 1711 (anglicizing his name, and taking British citizenship in 1727) and composed more than 30 operas before 1741. In his last years, he virtually invented the English-language oratorio.

Further listening:

Italian Duets (vocal, 1707-45)Soloists, Le Concert d'Astrée, Haïm (Virgin Veritas)

Solomon (oratorio, 1749)Scholl, Gabrieli Consort and Players, McCreesh (Archiv)