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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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The Final Decade I

The Final Decade I

The Last Major Works, 1749–51

(p.438) Chapter Fourteen The Final Decade I

Donald Burrows

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the last major works of George Frideric Handel during the years 1749–51. During the summer of 1749, Handel completed only one oratorio, Theodora, believing that just one new work would be sufficient for the next Lenten opera season. On 31 January 1750, Handel completed a new organ concerto for the forthcoming oratorio season which was designed to be a companion to Theodora. This concerto, posthumously published as op no. 5, includes the last, and arguably the greatest, of his ground-bass movements. The chapter concludes with Handel's Lenten season and Founding Hospital performances during 1751–52, and a description of his new single act-piece The Choice of Hercules, and his last oratorio Jephtha, where he wrote about his increasing blindness on his left eye at the autograph score.

Keywords:   George Frideric Handel, oratorio, Theodora, Lenten opera season, op no. 5, ground-bass movements, Founding Hospital, The Choice of Hercules, Jephtha, autograph score

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