Happy birthday, George

February 23, 2021

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) composed the Music for the Royal Fireworks in 1749 for King George II, to celebrate the signing of the treaty that ended the War of the Austrian Succession. Here is the fourth movement from the suite.

Musical offering for Christmas Day

December 25, 2020

It takes a village

December 23, 2020

Of all the many versions of the Hallelujah Chorus with subtitles I’ve seen, this one, performed by residents of Quinhagak, Alaska, is my favorite, the cringe-inducing misplaced apostrophes notwithstanding.

Today’s cultural moment

July 14, 2020

Musical offering for Easter Sunday

April 12, 2020

Happy birthday, George

February 23, 2020

In celebration of the birthday of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), here is the Sarabande from his Keyboard Suite in D minor, arranged for string quartet.

Happy birthday, George

February 23, 2019

In celebration of the birthday of George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), here is a hornpipe from The Water Music, composed in 1717.

Musical offering for the second day of Christmas

December 26, 2018

Happy birthday, George

February 23, 2018

It’s the 333rd birthday of the English baroque composer George Frideric Handel. Although he was born in what is now Germany and spent several years in Italy, he made the eminently sensible decision as a young man to move to England, where he spent the remainder of his life. He enjoyed a long and successful career as a composer, producing forty-two operas, twenty-nine oratorios, sixteen organ concerti, and many other compositions. When he died at the age of seventy-four, more than three thousand mourners attended his funeral, and his remains were interred in Westminster Abbey.

Handel composed this Bell Sinfonia in 1738 as part of his opera Saul.

Happy birthday, George

February 23, 2017

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) composed his oratorio Solomon in 1748, and the sinfonia that introduces the third act, “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” turned out to be one of his greatest hits. Originally scored for oboes and strings, the piece has been adapted to any number of instruments and combinations of instruments, including even some instruments that did not exist in the eighteenth century when the piece was composed. I especially like this version for solo harp (an instrument that has been with us since Biblical times). 

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