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George Frideric Handel

Born: 1685. Died: 1759. Lived in: Germany

Handel was born February 24, 1685, in Halle, Germany, to a family of no musical distinction. His own musical talent, however, manifested itself so clearly that before his tenth birthday he began to receive, from a local organist, the only formal musical instruction he would ever have. Although his first job, beginning just after his 17th birthday, was as church organist in Halle, Handel's musical predilections lay elsewhere. Thus, in 1703 he traveled to Hamburg, the operatic center of Germany; here, in 1704, he composed his own first opera, Almira, which achieved great success the following year. Once again, however, Handel soon felt the urge to move on, and his inclinations led him to Italy, the birthplace of operatic style. He stopped first at Florence in the autumn of 1706. In the spring and summer of 1707 and 1708 he traveled to Rome, enjoying the patronage of both the nobility and the clergy, and in the late spring of 1707 he made an additional short trip to Naples. In Italy Handel composed operas, oratorios, and many small secular cantatas; he ended his Italian sojourn with the spectacular success of his fifth opera, Agrippina (1709), in Venice.

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Recordings and DVDs

Displaying 1-6 of 6 items.


Cambridge Singers : Handel Messiah - The Complete Works : 00  2 CDs : 001085

Cambridge Singers : Handel Messiah - The Complete Works

Messiah, (1741), the glorious oratorio by George Frideric Handel, is among the most popular works in the Western choral literature. Here is a fabulous new recording from world-renowned conductor and composer John Rutter. Remarkably, this is the first time Rutter has recorded the Messiah. Named on The Today Show as "the greatest living composer and conductor of choral music," he is probably the most successful choral composer of his generation. Messiah is performed here by the Cambridge Singers, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by John Rutter. The soloists are Joanne Lunn, Melanie Marshall, James Gilchrist, and Christopher Purves. The 2-CD set includes a 24-page booklet with the text of Messiah and interspersed photos from the recording session at All Hallows Gospel Oak, London. A treasured possession to be enjoyed year after year.

Songlist: Sinfonia, Comfort Ye, My People, Every Valley Shall Be Exalted, And the Glory of the Lord, Thus Saith the Lord, But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?, And He Shall Purify, Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive, O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion, For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth, The People that Walked in Darkness, For unto Us a Child Is Born, Pifa, There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Field, Glory to God, Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion, Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened, He Shall feed His Flock, His Yoke Is Easy, Behold the Lamb of God, He Was Despised, Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs, And with His Stripes We Are Healed, All We Like Sheep Are Gone Astray, All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn, He Trusted in God, Thy Rebuke Hath Broken is Heart, Behold, and See If There Be Any Sorrow, He Was Cut Off Out of the Land of the Living, But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell, and more

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8952c | 2 CDs | $24.95


Handel and Haydn Society : Peace : 00  1 CD : Grant Llewellyn : AVI0039

Handel and Haydn Society : Peace

Under the leadership of grant Llewellyn and conductor laureate Christopher Hogwood, the Society, in its 189th season, has maintained its long tradition of musical excellence. Handel and Haydn gave the American premieres of Handel's "Messiah" in 1818, Haydn's "The Creation (1819)," Verdi's "Requiem (1878)," and Bach's "St. Matthew Passion (1889); and the Society won a 2002 Grammy for its recording of Sir John Tavener's "Lamentations and Praises." The 32 mixed-voice Chorus bring us 10 songs on the appropriately named "Peace:" de Victoria's "O magnum mysterium," Randall Thompson's lovely "Alleluia," Rachmaninov's "Blazen muzh, Op.37," Lauridsen's "O magnum mysterium," Samuel Barber's "Agnus Dei," Tavener's "Song for Athene," Schoenberg's "Friede auf Erden Op.13," Gorecki's "Tous Tuus," Frederick Delius' "To be sung of a summer night on the water," and Edward Elgar's "Lux Aeterna" (Nimrod). These are songs of great depth and beauty, as befitting songs sung with the intention of bringing peace to a world desperately in need of it.

Songlist: O Magnum Mysterium, Alleluia , Blazen muzh, Op. 37 , O Magnum Mysterium, Agnus Dei , Song for Athene , Friede auf Erden Op. 13 , Totus Tuus , To be sung of a summer night on the water , Lux Aeterna ('Nimrod')

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7722c | 1 CD | $15.98 | Primarily a cappella


Handel and Haydn Society : All Is Bright : 00  1 CD : Grant Llewellyn : AVI-2078

Handel and Haydn Society : All Is Bright

Boston's Handel and Haydn Society is one of America's leading choral ensembles. Under the direction of recently appointed music director Grant Llewellyn, the Society has expanded its repertoire to encompass a broader range of music, including contemporary works. Their first recording for Avie, "Peace," was one of 2004's best-selling choral CD's appearing for a number of weeks on the Billboard Classical Chart. The Society's newest recording, "All is Bright," celebrates the music of the festive season, combining repertoire from the Baroque era and traditional carols with Christmas works by twentieth century composers including beautiful works by prominent American composers including Ned Rorem, Virgil Thompson, Charles Ives, Jennifer Higdon and Daniel Pinkham. The Beauty of the Society's singing, the uniqueness of the program and the audiophile quality sound give "All is Bright" the same elements that made "Peace" a best-seller with widespread appeal in 2004

Songlist: Hodie Christus Natus Est, There Is No Rose, In Dulci Jubilo, Lo How A Rose E' Er Blooming, The Three Kings, King Herod And The Cock, Make We Joy Now In This Fest, A Spotless Rose, Lux Aurumque, A Babe Is Born, Sir Christmas, Stille Nacht, O Magnum Mysterium, A Christmas Carol, Sweet Music, While All Things Were In Quiet Silence, The Coventry Carol, O My Deir Hert, Deck The Hall, Hodie Christus Natus Est, What Cheer?, All this Time

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7967c | 1 CD | $15.98 | Primarily a cappella


Polyphony : Handel Messiah : 00  2 CDs : Stephen Layton : CDA 67800

Polyphony : Handel Messiah

Annual live performances of Handel's Messiah at St John's Smith Square with Polyphony and Stephen Layton have become one of the highlights of the musical season. The joyful sincerity and brilliance of the performers has brought this familiar story to vivid life again and again. Now this wonderful experience is available on disc, recorded in 2008 for a new release that will surely prove a strong competitor even in a crowded market. Polyphony is joined by the Britten Sinfonia and a quartet of magnificent young soloists - all variously acclaimed as the premier Handel singers of the new generation.

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4234c | 2 CDs | $19.95 | A Cappella


Robert Shaw Chorale : Handel: The Great Choruses From Messiah : 00  1 CD : Robert Shaw : 09026613682-7 : 09026613682

Robert Shaw Chorale : Handel: The Great Choruses From Messiah

We hardly need to mention Robert Shaw's credentials as a group leader and director of the Fred Waring Glee Club, the RS Festival Singers, RS Chorale and RS Chamber Singers, his Grammys and ASCAPS and his 50-plus year legendary career in music. This is a digitally remastered reissue of a classic lp of one of some of the most beloved music of all time, the Great Choruses from Handel's Messiah. The piece is given to us in 17 parts, from "And the Glory of the Lord" and the famous "For Unto Us a Child Is Born" to "Their Sound Is Gone Out Into All Lands," "Hallelujah" and finishing with "Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain." Of course this CD is orchestrally accompanied, with harpsichord and organ, throughout. As with all the CDs associated with Robert Shaw that we carry in our catalog, "Great Choruses" is a powerful, wonderfully performed work of art!

Songlist: And the Glory of the Lord, And He Shall Purify, For Unto Us A Child Is Born, Glory to God, His Yoke Is Easy, Behold the Lamb of God, Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs, And with His Stripes We Are Healed, All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray, He Trusted in God, Lift Up Your Heads, Oh Ye Gates, Let All the Angels of God Worship Him, The Lord Gave the Word, Their Sound Is Gone Out Into All Lands, Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder, Hallelujah, Since by Man Came Death, O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?, But Thanks Be to God, Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain

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6773c | 1 CD | $15.98


Sixteen : Handel Messiah : 00  3 CDs : Harry Christophers : 16062

Sixteen : Handel Messiah

Brand new recording by one of the most celebrated ensembles in the world features distinguished soloists revered for their performances of Handel. "What a winning combination: Handel's Messiah, the most popular oratorio ever written, sung by The Sixteen, the most richly sonorous of early music choirs." -The Telegraph. "The Sixteen are on fine form in a repertory that sees them at their most confident." - Gramophone

Songlist: Messiah (complete oratorio) , Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon , The Lord our enemy has slain from Esther, Nell dolce dell'obblio, Harp Concerto in B-flat, Op. 4, No. 6 from Alexander's Feast , Sinfonia to Act 2 of Ariodante, Scherza infida from Ariodante, Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson

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8935c | 3 CDs | $24.95 | A Cappella

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