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Donald Burrows

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199737369.001.0001

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Germany, 1685–1706

Germany, 1685–1706

(p.3) Chapter One Germany, 1685–1706

Donald Burrows

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the early years of George Frideric Handel in Germany, particularly in his hometown of Halle, at Weissenfels, and at Hamburg. According to the biographer John Mainwaring, his father, Georg Händel, neglected his love for music and wanted him to study civil law. This changed when, while visiting Weissenfels, the Duke overheard George playing the organ and afterwards encouraged the development of his talent. Soon, Handel was under the tutelage of Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, the organist of the Marienkirche church where Handel was baptised, formally starting his career in music. This chapter also describes Handel's training under Zachow, which emphasized the development of skills in keyboard playing, repertory, and composition. It also notes Italian and German influences on Handel, such as using aria vocal movements and imitative counterpoint. Eventually, Handel moved to Hamburg where he composed and performed his first two operas, Almira and Nero.

Keywords:   George Frideric Handel, John Mainwaring, Georg Händel, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, repertory, aria, imitative counterpoint, Almira, Nero, Hamburg State Opera

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