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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 Music, 1711–19

The Music, 1711–19

(p.106) Chapter Five The Music, 1711–19

Donald Burrows

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses some of the musical compositions of George Frideric Handel during his first decade working in London opera. It begins by examining Rinaldo, where Handel first attempted to adapt Italian opera to English taste. In terms of music, Handel improved his stock of effective and memorable operatic melodies, for example, the sarabande tune, which derives from Almira. The chapter then examines Il pastor fido which stands as a complete contrast to Rinaldo, being a pastoral drama on almost a chamber scale with longer arias. Handel's third work, Teseo, became a French opera, due to the influence of Nicola Haym who brought to it the French tradition of having a five-act structure. This French trend continued in Handel's following works, the most notable being Giulio Cesare, Ottone, Flavio, Tamerlano, and Rodelinda.

Keywords:   George Frideric Handel, London opera, Rinaldo, Italian opera, episodic, visual-scenic element, Il pastor fido, pastoral drama, chamber scale, Teseo

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