Erik Nitsche: George Frideric Handel
Artist: Erik Nitsche
Handel was born 23 February, 1685 in Halle, Germany. Handel began his musical studies in 1694 with organist-composer Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow. In 1705, Handel travelled to Italy where he met Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti. In 1710 he visited England for the first time and settled in London. Warmly welcomed by Queen Anne, he was granted a pension, he was also patronised by King George I. German by birth, English by choice, and trained in Italian styles of music, Handel was a truly cosmopolitan composer.
In his big choral works and his many instrumental pieces, Handel, like his contemporary J.S.Bach, was a master of the polyphonic musical style, weaving themes around each other to create a rich tapestry of sound. In many ways, Handel is the essence of the Late Baroque period, just before it gave way to the new and very different style of the Classical Period.
George Frideric Handel died in London on the 14th of April in 1759, and was buried in Westminster Abbey in the presence of some 3000 mourners.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 20pf George Friderich Handel stamp issued March 19, 1985.
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