Handel and the English
|George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner, 1726-28|
So why, you might be asking, did Handel make London his home and in 1727 become a naturalised citizen? Why didn’t he move to another Protestant court, in the Netherlands, maybe or Austria, Prussia, and even Hanover where he had once worked? The answer lies with what London had to offer musicians at the time. I think that the close group of sponsors who became his friends also played a part as well as the patronage of the royal family. Finally, Handel eventually hit on a formula which the public loved: he started to compose works in English and to rely on English singers. By the time of his death his airs were being played on every parade ground, in the pleasure gardens of Vauxhall, in the concert halls of provincial cities, and at the ceremonies that trumpeted British triumphs - the Treaty of Utrecht, the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle, the victory at Culloden.
Sheena Vernon is author of the novel ‘Messiah. Love, music and malice at a time of Handel,’ which is available in paperback, as an ebook or in audio. http://tinyurl.com/povxsus
Written content of this post copyright © Sheena Vernon, 2015.