|Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
|Did You Guess?
Trick Question! Zero. Zilch. Ningun! Kein. None. Royal Fireworks Music is for winds and percussion. It has been re-scored to include strings, but the original had no stringed instruments at all!
|Can You Guess?
IWhen a composer writes a piece of music he often tells how many of each instrument he would like to play the piece in an ideal orchestra. In Handel's Royal Fireworks Music he does just that. Can You Guess how many violins are included in Handel's score?
Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
|July 17, 1717 was the premiere of Handel's Water Music Suite. The performance took place on a barge in the Thames River.
Georg Friedrich Handel was born February 23, 1685. By age 11 Handel was playing the violin, oboe, harpsichord and organ. He was appointed organist of the Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, Germany.
|1830 - Birth of Hungarian violinist Eduard Remenyi who introduced Brahms to Hungarian folk music.
1877 - Otto Dessoff conducted the Vienna Philharmonic on its first concert tour to Salzburg. Led to establishment of the annual Salzburg Festival.
1935 - Birth of American composer-satirist Peter Schickele, aka PDQ Bach, in Ames IA.
1954 - The first Newport Jazz Festival was held at the Newport Casino, in Newport, RI.
1965 - The Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears" was released.
1968 - The Beatlesí feature-length cartoon, Yellow Submarine, premiered at the London Pavilion.
1974 - The Moody Blues open the first quadraphonic studio in London.
1976 - Heart's "Magic Man" was released.
1983 - Premiere of Sir Lennox Berkeley's Cello Concerto, in Manchester.
2003 - Rosalyn Tureck, US specialist in Bach's works onthe harpsichord, piano and clavichord, died in New York City.
|Georg Friedrich Handel
|When he was 12, Handel became the assistant organist at the cathedral of Halle, where the principal organist, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau, became his teacher. He moved to Hamburg, one of the principal musical centers of Germany, in 1703. There he played violin in the opera orchestra, directed by composer Reinhard Keiser. Handel composed two operas for the Hamburg theater, Almira and Nero (both in 1705).
Handel went to Italy, where he remained until 1710. His travels took him to Florence, Venice, Rome, and Naples. There he composed his first two oratorios, Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (1707, later revised and translated as The Triumph of Time and Truth) and La Resurrezione (1708), as well as the opera Agrippina in 1709.
In 1710, Handel returned to Germany and became musical director to the Elector of Hanover. Late that year he visited England, where his opera Rinaldo was performed with great success. After another brief stay in Hanover, Handel received a leave of absence to return to London. In 1714 his former Hanover employer became King George I of England. Handel made London his permanent home, and he became an English citizen in 1727.
While continuing to work in the Italian style, Handel began to be influenced by English music, especially choral music. He was musical director of the Royal Academy of Music (1719 - 1728) and of the "Second Academy" (1728 - 1734) both organizations for the performance of Italian opera. Handel became London's leading composer and director of Italian operas. Most of his approximately 40 operas are based on stories about heroic historical figures, but some are fantasies with magical scenes, and others are light "antiheroic" works. Musically, Handel's operas are outstanding for their imaginative use of the conventions of serious opera. A number of his operas have been recently revived, among them Giulio Cesare (1724), Tamerlano (1724), Orlando (1733), Alcina (1735), and Serse (1738).
Today Handel is far better known as a composer of English oratorios than of Italian operas. Handel's earliest oratorios were written at the same time that he was still composing Italian operas. In 1740 Handel abandoned the Italian opera form and concentrated on English oratorio. His best known and most influential oratorio, Messiah, was written in 1741. It may be the most widely performed oratorio of all time. His other oratorios from the period are typically based on Old Testament themes. They include Samson (1741), Belshazzar (1744), Solomon (1748), Theodora (1749), and Jephtha (1751).
Handel's oratorios are three-act dramatic works. Unlike operas, these works have no staging or action. They are written for chorus, soloists and orchestra.
But Handel's works were many and varied. He composed English church music, secular vocal music and instrumental music. His concertos were well known, but he also composed several suites, the most famous of which are his Water Music and his Royal Fireworks Music. Here is an interesting page devoted to Water Music.
Georg Friedrich Handel died in London April 14, 1759.