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Handel George Frideric 1685-1759 one of the greatest composers of the late baroque period 1700-50 and during his lifetime perhaps the most internationally famous of all musicians Handel was born February 24 1685 in Halle Germany to a family of no musical distinction His own musical talent however manifested itself so clearly that before his tenth birthday he began to receive from a local organist the only formal musical instruction he would ever have Although his first job beginning just after his 17th birthday was as church organist in Halle Handels musical predilections lay elsewhere Thus in 1703 he traveled to Hamburg the operatic center of Germany here in 1704 he composed his own first opera Almira which achieved great success the following year Once again however Handel soon felt the urge to move on and his inclinations led him to Italy the birthplace of operatic style He stopped first at Florence in the autumn of 1706 In the spring and summer of 1707 and 1708 he traveled to Rome enjoying the patronage of both the nobility and the clergy and in the late spring of 1707 he made an additional short trip to Naples In Italy Handel composed operas oratorios and many small secular cantatas he ended his Italian sojourn with the spectacular success of his fifth opera Agrippina 1709 in Venice London Opera Career Handel left Italy for a job as court composer and conductor in Hannover Germany where he arrived in the spring of 1710 As had been the case in Halle however he did not hold this job for long By the end of 1710 Handel had left for London where with Rinaldo 1711 he once again scored an operatic triumph After returning to Hannover he was granted permission for a second short trip to London from which however he never returned Handel was forced to face his truancy when in 1714 the elector at Hannover his former employer
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