Thursday, January 21, 2010

Georg Friedrich Händel and other names of this Baroque composer

The German-born composer Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) is known for his operas, concertos and choral music, above all the Messiah, first performed in 1742 at Musick Hall in Dublin [1]. The Italians call him Giorgio Federico Hendel (Monsù Hendel). In France, he is known as George Frideric Hændel (Monsieur Hændel). And in England, the country he chose as his home, he is George Frideric Handel (Mister Handel).
Herr Händel was a composing cosmopolitan—living, traveling and performing in many parts of Europe. As a free-spirited musical entrepreneur, he did not insist on the German spelling of his name, but wrote, or let people write, his name in terms of mutual convenience. That is, why Händel's name may appear on original documents or in the literature as Haendel, Handle, Handell, Händtler, Hendell, Hendler, Hondel, Endel or Händeler [2].

[1] Jonathan Kandell:
Hallelujah. Smithsonian December 2009, Volume 40, Number 9, pp. 42-48; Excerpts.
[2] Franz Binder:
Georg Friedrich HändelSein Leben und seine Zeit. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, München, Originalausgabe Februar 2009 (page 7).

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